The all-too-real depiction of Philippe Petit’s death-defying tightrope walk between New York’s Twin Towers in “The Walk” has left moviegoers tossing more than their popcorn–they’re tossing their cookies too.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as daredevil Frenchman Petit, who precariously balanced 1,362 feet above the Big Apple’s iconic World Trade Center skyscrapers in 1974 without a net. At the time no video footage was recorded of the event, so director Robert Zemeckis had to transport viewers through a 3D reimagining of the experience.
That Zemeckis created such a visually stunning remaining, some critics who screened the biopic at the New York Film Festival over the weekend said the drama continued in the restroom.
“Reports of guys vomiting in the Alice Tully men’s rm post-The Walk: True,” journalist Mark Harris tweeted Sunday. “Witnessed it/came close. Bad visual trigger for vertigo sufferers.”
Speaking to New York Post, Denise Widman, board director of the Boston Jewish Film Festival, said the final 20 minutes of the film wrecked havoc on her body because of the realistic sky-high perspective amid the famous metro cityscape. “I had to look away a couple of times because of the sensation of the height. I felt a little bit queasy. I felt nervous. It was a tingling sensation and some anxiety.”
But according to director Zebecks, the nauseated reaction is exactly what he intended.
“[The goal] was to evoke the feeling of vertigo,” he said after the screening. “We worked really hard to put those audiences up on those towers and on the wire.”
“The Walk” opens Oct. 9.