“… equal parts relatable and inspiring.”
Last night I had the pleasure of finally getting around to watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I initially wrote it off because the trailers made it seem like the movie was an exercise in daydreaming, meaning that the film would amount to nothing; boy was I wrong. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty follows Walter Mitty, a very reserved man who constantly “zones out” while dreaming of insane situations that highlight him as a hero. These dreams become reality when for his job Walter must go on an adventure to find a missing photo negative that is extremely important. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is directed by, and stars, Ben Stiller.
The reason I love The Secret Life of Walter Mitty so much is because it is equal parts relatable and inspiring. Every single person on the planet is guilty of having dreams, but few are guilty of following them. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty shows exactly that, a man who is finally taking control of his life and following his dreams. Interestingly enough, the film felt very dream-like to me. It’s presentation was very laid back and calm, but the scenarios were larger than life; this all culminates into a very relaxing, but still interesting, film to watch. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty also did a great job of skirting the line of comedy and drama, presenting us with a character who is sad (yet relatable) but allowing opportunities for us to laugh so as not to get too bummed out. I felt that the story was very inspirational, and it was also executed very well on all fronts. The direction of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was great as it made sure to highlight locations (of which there are many) but still followed characters close enough to allow for attachment from the audience. The cinematography was also beautiful, again going back to mentioning all of the locations used in the film and the fact that every shot allowed us to see their beauty. I felt that the movie was paced really well, never dragging and constantly showing Walter Mitty evolving as a character. The editing was also phenomenal which is very apparent in the seamless transitions both between scenes and also between reality and dreams. Of course the dreams in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty are so smooth partially because of the great effects used in the film to achieve the more grandiose fantasies. Of course I can’t review this film without talking about the phenomenal performances in it. Ben Stiller in particular really gave it his all, perfectly portraying a man who has been trapped in a shell for most of his life but is now starting to chip away at it and escape. You also have a great cast of supporting characters including, but not limited to: Sean Penn, Kristen Wigg, Adam Scott, and Patton Oswalt; who all give amazing performances. I guess the main reason for my love of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is the fact that by the end of the film, I just felt good; and that is not something that just any movie can achieve.
Ultimately The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is an amazing, inspiring, hilarious film supported by great acting, effects, and directing.
I give The Secret Life of Walter Mitty an A