Man on Wire Movie Review
MAN ON WIRE: AWE INSPIRING
August 7, 1974. A French man on a tight wire trying to walk between New York City's Twin Towers. That is Man on Wire. And it is as fascinating to watch as you would think. Not just the act but also the journey there.
At 17 years old, Philippe Petit realizes his life dream in a doctor's office. He reads an article on two buildings being built in New York. They will eventually become the Twin Towers. Philippe decides at that moment it is his destiny to tight wire walk between these two buildings. He has walked over Notre Dame and will walk over the Sydney, Australia bridge before he makes it to America. He recruits his friends Jean Louis, Jean Francois, girlfriend Annie, and others to help him achieve his ambition.
The story is a documentary, but comes off like a bank heist movie with tension at every turn. You are always afraid that Philippe and his crew are going to get caught. There is humor with the men trying to hide from security once they get into the buildings. It is almost slapstick like with them attempting to not get caught while setting up. Their plan is very detail oriented and they never miss a step. And with Philippe, you see this French man living the American dream. You feel his delight and determination to make it to the top of the building, be it through photos or the reenactments. It is hard to take your eyes off of him, he is so mesmerizing. One ingenious scene has photos of Philippe growing up along side pictures of the Twin Towers being built. It is not hard to believe that Philippe was meant to do this. And the buildup to Philippe walking the tight wire does in no way prepare you for the actual act. It is visually outstanding and heart pounding at the same time. You blink to make sure you can believe what you are seeing.
“Live your life on a tight wire” is quoted in the film. It is not just actual but also metaphorical. Philippe didn't let anything stop him from achieving his goal and it is illuminating and heartwarming.