Sunday, December 28, 2008

Review: "Man on Wire": B+

Man on Wire (2008) (Documentary)

Grade: B+

Man on Wire is only the first documentary I have seen this year and it should be the winner of the Best Documentary Oscar of the precursors is any indication. This is a documentary whose primary objective is to essentially recreate August 7th 1974, during which Phillip Petit and his crew of people plan a heist like mission of illegally getting to the top of the Twin Towers and Phillip walking on a tightrope between the two buildings for a total of 45 minutes. Phillip’s result is beautiful and remarkable, creating a stunning moment in time.

The story of how this all came about is reconstructed for us using archive footage, home movies, interviews, reenactments. Reenactments can go horribly wrong but here it is an ingenious move, filling in the gaps of the story in which no footage is available and using it in a way that does not seem distracting and does not detract from the film but actually adds to it. I do not really know what to say about it. I really enjoyed it very much. There are other documentaries I personally enjoy more but this is a very creative and lively effort from James Marsh. Petit is a hypnotic storyteller his enthusiasm infectious. These are very interesting people and a frighteningly good recreation of an event that retains the urgency that most likely had taken place when it actually happened.

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