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walk slowly and carry a big stick...


Philippe Petit, Jean François Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau, Annie Allix

Philippe: To me, it’s really so simple, that life should be lived on the edge. You have to exercise rebellion. To refuse to tape yourself to the rules, to refuse your own success, to refuse to repeat yourself, to see every day, every year, every idea as a true challenge. Then you will live your life on the tightrope.

Documentary about one man’s dream to walk on a tightrope between the newly built twin towers of the World Trade Center and the lengths he and his friends would go to in order to make that dream a reality.

Not every great dream will make sense to everyone.  What I see as a great accomplishment might seem meaningless to somebody else, and what Philippe Petit sees as the fulfillment of his destiny might seem like lunacy to most people…myself included.  But what shouldn’t be seen as lunacy is his will and determination in seeing his dream come true.  That is to be admired, in my opinion.

I’m guessing it’s that aspect of his personality that allowed him to convince so many other people to aid him in achieving his ultimate tightrope walking goal.  You can tell, in the interviews, that Philippe still has a persuasive, child like personality.  You can also tell that some of the other people weren’t sure why they were following right along, helping Philippe out, but there they were.  And they all seem glad to have been a part of it.

I’m not sure I would have shared their (and certainly not Philippe’s) enthusiasm if I had been there, and I don’t think I quite share the same enthusiasm for this movie as it seems many critics did.  It’s a good movie, no doubt, but I think my lack of interest in the subject matter hurt my enjoyment to an extent.  I just didn’t find the story overly compelling.  It all comes off as one big ego trip presented as some sort of great moment in history.  It’s an interesting moment in history, for sure, but for some reason the wondrous nature of it was lost on me for the most part.

I did enjoy the details about how they managed to sneak into the WTC buildings, though who knows how much of those stories have become embellished over the years.  Either way, it makes for good cinema.

All in all, it’s a movie that I will say is worth seeing, but it’s not exactly a must see.  It’s reasonably entertaining, but it does drag on and feel a little overlong.  Maybe a few less self-indulgent stories could have picked up the pace a bit.

Still, the man did something that I would never ever ever ever ever even pretend to dream of doing…and that can now literally never be done again, sadly.

Go ahead and look down, you’ll be fine.

10 – 1.5 because the subject matter wasn’t all that compelling to me – 1.5 for dragging here and there and being a bit overlong = 7.0