For years, Philippe Petit dreamed of finding the right place to put his wire. From a young age, he had a fascination with performance art. He greatest focus was tight-rope walking. While he had a challenging relationship with his mentor, he developed the skills and the persona to catch the attention of a crowd. Individual performances were one thing, but he still was searching for that great stage. When he came across the construction of the Twin Towers, he knew that he would travel to America and make his dream a reality. He arrived in New York and worked to find the right team to set his wire before the official opening of the towers. Not everything was set to run smoothly, but determination would help lead Philippe and the team to success.
Arrogance of an Artist: Philippe Petit was a man who required a strong will to maintain his passion to chase his dream. Having little support from his family, he found himself without much of a father figure until he developed his relationship with Papa Rudy. Even that relationship had its rocky moments, but Rudy gave Philippe that strong male presence he was missing. Inside, he never let go of his passion and only let his doubt release for a brief moment the night before the big day. With months of planning and intricate instructions and expectations of his team, he pushed everyone to the limit in order to not let his moment disappear. What was even more impressive was the dance he did when finally out on the wire with officers awaiting him on both buildings.
Show of Support: While Philippe focused his attention on himself in the midst of the project, he would not have made it without his team. In particular, Annie provided the most significant support of the group. She encouraged his dream and provided him a space to train while still in France. Once in the US, one of the most significant sacrifices she made was to put her dream on-hold for his. She tended to his needs and supported him in the most stressful of situations. Without any awareness on Philippe’s part, she stood outside the towers the night prior to his famous walk alone. While she clearly loved him, she also realized that it was her turn to make her mark once his dream had been realized. Though difficult to do, she left him in the US and returned home to embrace her talents.
Quirky but Enjoyable Performances: While Philippe was certainly the memorable character, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was able to provide that fun presence to bring his personality out on the big screen. A big personality needed a big partner, which Charlotte Le Bon was able to provide. The two had a great chemistry, which served as a foundation for the rest of the random cast of characters to work well together.
Final Verdict: The buildup to the actual walk might feel a little long, but the moment he steps onto the wire is amazing. The cinematography to capture the height and intensity was phenomenal, making the adventure up to that point very worth it.
Dan’s Rating: 3.5/5