High wire artist Phillippe Petit refused to think he couldn’t cross between New York’s twin towers on a high wire. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Phillippe tells us this in the opening seconds of The Walk (2015, USA).

It is a good piece of writing to get unbelief out of the way first. Otherwise, the audience would be thinking that he’d never do it. He can and the thrill is watching him achieve it.

Image sourced via google images.
Image sourced via google images.

Phillippe dismisses death and focuses on life and we believe he is going to do the impossible: walk a high wire between two of the tallest towers in America. Imagine it, but I’m sure you’ve seen  something like this somewhere.

It is 1974 and Phillippe lives in Paris with a dream while plying his performance art on the streets. He comes under the tutelage of Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), who runs a circus. He gives him a few pointers to execute his high wire dream in New York.

The focused and determined Philippe sometimes clashes with his elderly mentor over methodology, but Phillippe’s sense of entitlement should make him succeed in his mission, while taking a bit of humble pie as well.

Papa Rudy is concerned for his protégé’s life, but he also sees the point of it. Tight roping between the towers is doing a thing of beauty.

There are obstacles in the way of showing beauty to New Yorkers. And, once the newspapers get hold of the news, to the world. In secret he must concoct a plan to pass through security and get his equipment to the roof. The towers are under construction, which makes getting there all the more difficult. He must bring with him all his tools to lay out his wire, which makes the job complicated, but where there is a will there is a way.

In fact, the second half of this movie is like a heist movie. Phillippe has assembled his team like Frank Ocean in Ocean’s Eleven, but his motive isn’t money. This is the ‘other side’ of the heist scenario.

If  his team make it to the top floor, they will have to evade security even still. To execute his dream, he endeavors to take his crew up in the night, for a 6 A.M start the next morning, where he will walk the tightrope.

What’s it in aid of? To show the world something beautiful.

Warnings–contains profanity

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