Charged with a few free hours with the luxury of movies on demand, I recently watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I knew from the trailer that I would enjoy the film, but I didn’t quite expect myself to love it as much as I do! Here’s why:
Walter has a job at a magazine called Life, where he works on negative photographs. He begins as a pretty ordinary person, not really living life the way he wants to. Instead of living at full throttle, he simply imagines it. The coordination between graphics, editing and directing mixed reality with Walter’s daydreams so elegantly, creating an oddly realistic transition between the two. The idea of not achieving what we hope to in life is a daily struggle for (I’m guessing) everyone on the planet, so to see this explored through Walter gave the film a sweetly human touch. For me, this humanity made it all the more relatable and heart-warming.
BUT Walter’s comfortable but humdrum life is soon to change when he misplaces a very important photograph for the magazine. This happens at a critical point – jobs are being cut, and the person who shot the photograph is nowhere to be seen. This leads Walter to go on a mission to find the photographer and the missing photograph. Suddenly, workaday Walter is taken on an unexpected adventure, during which he is attacked by sharks and gets a little too close to exploding volcanoes… but I won’t spoil the whole movie! It’s an awesome film in terms of thinking points and humour, so if you want a smile it’s the perfect flick for you.
There is a little romance in the movie, but it didn’t feel as though it dominated the action, which gave a great sense of balance. Although the relationship between Walter and Cheryl is important to the storyline, I feel that the morals of living life to the full and taking chances (it doesn’t matter what in) held more weight. If you have the chance, it is a definite must-see.
Casting was just beautiful; for me, the chosen actors gave their characters a raw, realistic edge. I have seen all of them in previous movies, but it having a well-known cast didn’t clutter the film. Rather, it appeared to be well-made and thoroughly thought through. Ben Stiller starred as Walter Mitty, coming across as genuine as ever; he was either very fit for the role, or fit himself into the role very nicely. Kristen Wiig played the loveable and slightly quirky Cheryl Melhoff – a name repeated in full throughout the film. I enjoyed this; it’s reminiscent of Paper Towns, in which Margo Roth Spiegelman’s name seems to be repeated like a charm.
Admittedly I don’t know much about it as of yet, but it worked extremely well. I love film soundtracks – they make up most of my favourite CDs. A soundtrack can make or break a film, and for me, this one only elevated the piece.
I do a lot of daydreaming (though less so lately). I think it’s a nice thing to do every now and again, at the right time and place. However, it can sometimes become overwhelming. Essentially, I think that Walter Mitty reminds me of me. I haven’t exactly become more adventurous, but some things I used to daydream about I’m now actually doing in reality. So, like Mitty, after taking the risk it’s now about being in the moment. In this way, the film is vaguely comparable to Yes Man, another enjoyable watch (although my preference lies with Walter).
Thanks for reading, this film is exactly what I’d call my cup of tea! I hope it’ll be a lovely watch for you too.
PS. Ben stiller is in a new movie that looks pretty awesome to me; here’s the trailer!
(Featured image credit: Taken from IMDb.)