Some people see mountains before them and give up. Other people see mountains and blaze trails discovering new ways around or through those mountains. In the case of Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), there are always ways over them.
Thanks to the visual artistry of Robert Zemeckis, this was not a film I was tackling in the theater in 3D! Thanks to the stunning visuals, one might actually think that they were standing or kneeling or lying down on the tightrope with Petit. (Let’s be real, even the Blu-ray cover shot gets me!) But the testimony to Petit’s passionate pursuit of this particular walk and the nod to the Twin Towers/September 11th is powerful stuff.
Thanks to the backstory provided here, the film is more than ‘just’ the walk. The walk is the culmination of teamwork, preparation, training, and courage, built from the life of Petit (who also trained Gordon-Levitt in wire walking). The film itself is built like that as well, as the star learned French, too, and the backdrop of Zemeckis’ filming. All of this and more can be uncovered – or walked through – thanks to the Blu-ray exclusives about “The Amazing Walk” and “First Steps- Learning to Walk the Wire.” (It also includes the DVD special feature “Pillars of Support.”)
While Petit is both outlaw and daredevil, he’s also a figure who screams into the sky that the impossible is possible, that dreams must be dared not just mulled over. It’s inspirational stuff here that Zemeckis has chased, far from the whimsy of The Polar Express or the loneliness of a deserted island in Cast Away, but the heroic, triumphant human spirit remains the same.