Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 9th October, 2015
Time : 132 minutes
Director, Co-Writer : Robert Zemeckis; Co-Writer : Christopher Browne based on the book by Philippe Petit ‘To Reach The Clouds’; Music : Alan Silvestri;
Starring : Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, Cesar Domboy, Clement Sibony, Steve Valentine, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz, Benedict Samuel, Soleyman Pierini
Despite the movie being about a walk on a high-tension steel wire, the movie is strangely flat.
It’s about the daredevil French artiste, Phillipe Petit (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who, fascinated by a tightrope walking family during a circus trip when very young, decided he couldn’t do anything else. He basically spends the rest of his time figuring out places where he could hang his wire around Paris. Then gets in touch with Ben Kingsley, the patriarch of the tightrope walking family, to learn his secrets. He continues to search for more dangerous, exciting places to hang his wire…meets his accomplices during his illegal walks in Paris – Charlotte Le Bon, Cesar Domboy, Clement Sibony…and then one day, he sees an illustration of the upcoming World Trade Centre in New York. And he knows that’s it – that’s where he wants to walk…
The rest of the movie takes us through some of the steps, described by Joseph either by flashback or while standing on top of the Statue of Liberty.
As the audience you definitely feel awe for what he accomplished but, strangely, you feel very little of the tension. The tale is narrated in a very matter of fact way. You don’t get a sense of the personalities, the planning – everything is quite drily presented, merely happens. You have to be a little mad to do something like this but the full force of the personality and the emotion doesn’t quite transmit.
Joe lets on in the opening few minutes, that the one question he can’t answer is ‘Why’ – he does it just because… But why would his accomplices support him, as he risks almost certain death in his attempt ? What in them makes them willing partners ? There is a lovely little twist at the end, that redeems the film somewhat and I loved a couple of the lines too – about how walking the tightrope across buildings gave it character, made them more beautiful…