With his classic Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock introduced a new film technique in 1958. Moves the camera backward while you zoom or drive the camera forward and zoom out: it gives a disorienting effect. Even today, the trick is regularly used to bring about a frightening or giddy feeling. But that can also be another way this is what Robert Zemeckis proves now.
A good 3D camera is all you seem to need. When in the climax of The Walk tightrope walker Philippe Petit walks across a cable between the towers of the World Trade Center and the picture on the railing turns around, the depth on the screen shows exactly the giddy feeling that you normally only get if you get too close comes close to a dangerous abyss. The larger that screen, the better.
IMAX visit is a good idea, although The Walk is not there specifically made for. Zemeckis turned his film with normal cameras, so the screen is not completely filled, and the immersive feeling is not as strong as with a film like Interstellar, who was shot largely in IMAX format. The Walk was supposedly there to become even more dizzying.
The great scene where it’s all about only takes place towards the end of the film. The true The Walk opens with Petit on the torch of the Statue of Liberty, which presents his story to us as an enthusiastic circus artist. We see how the Frenchman in Paris his acrobatic prowess to passersby shows and with the help of a mentor to the tightrope perfect. A report in the newspaper fanning the flames further: in the New York of the seventies, is working on the tallest towers in the world, so must and Petit will be there to pick out the most insane circus act ever.
People who have seen the Oscar-winning documentary, Man on Wire, know the rest of the story. What drove Petit, how he put together a team, how to disguise the towers studied and how he ended – including material and his teammates – illegally on the roof of the WTC could come to take his stunt for a crowd four hundred fifteen meters lower disbelief watching. As the agents powerless from the tower had to wait until the Frenchman himself nicely been found again.
It all works out at a brisk pace and according to the usual formula, in which the determination Petit on the eve gets a slump and the people around him are increasingly starting to worry. The story of the eccentric Frenchman amused and astonished more when it came from his own mouth in Man on Wire.
The Walk where it adds value compared to the documentary – beyond the excellent camera work – is the subtle ode to the Twin Towers which Zemeckis brings casually. He was very easy to fly off the road September 11 with the cheap sentiment but keeps the focus on Petits passion and how the initially hated towers made globally famous and loved.
The light kooky artist with a greasy French accent while not turning into a puppet figure is due to the dedicated play of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His energy is infectious and his accent is convincing amazingly well. At his best moments, he is exactly the endearing goofball who came forward in Man on Wire.
Watch the trailer here: