Just a word of warning to those of a nervous disposition, scared of heights or have vertigo, might be a good idea to pass on this movie. If none of these apply to you select a screening with the largest possible screen to get the full effect. If you are lucky to life close to a IMAX screen even better.
Well to say that Philippe Petit ( Joseph Gordon-Levitt ) is a thrill seeker is putting it mildly. From the time as young child he has sought bigger and bigger thrills and likes performing to an audience. He is mentored by Papa Rudi ( Ben Kingsley ) as his father has disowned him when he finds out his son’s choice of career. For Philippe performing his wire act to the general public in Paris while it excites him starts to hold less and less interest. So his first choice of higher and higher thrills means that he walks on his wire between the two towers of the Notre Dame cathedral.
Did he get permission ? Of course not that’s part of the thrill. He enjoys the cat-and-mouse game that he plays with authorities. While in a Parisian cafe one day he happens upon an article explaining about the newly built Twin Towers that have just been built in New York. Being Philippe he can already see a wire stretched between the two towers.
This film owes a lot to crime caper movies – while he is not robbing a bank, it is pretty a similar story. They in essense want to outwit the authorities to get to their goal.
As I outlined earlier this is not a movie for those scared of heights and after the build up to the walk this is where movies is at its strongest. You feel that you are out there on the wire with him. If we are taking points off for this movie it is in the area of the slightly dodgy French accents, they are nearly as wobbly as some of the times that Philippe in on the wire.That’s a minor point in what is otherwise a pretty decent movie from director Robert Zemeckis.
Might want to hold off on those cinema snacks though as this movie may leave you feeling a little queasy !!
If you don’t catch the IMAX screenings it will be on general release from October 9.
#MOVIES V REAL LIFE
How real do you want your thrills – A moving seat in time with the action on screen ? 3 – D ? IMAX ? Well while I am sure we would all love that holographic space chess game from Star Wars – A New Hope, I am not sure that we would all embrace the future that might happen, if we went the Star Trek Holodeck route. While I am sure that some of the experiences would be enjoyable, I for one do not want to be out on that wire with Philippe Petit, thank very much !!