THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY [2013] movie review – recommended

March 29, 2014 · Print This Article

It was a real wakeup call watching THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY [2013].  Walter is a guy who cannot complete a dating profile because the only thing he has ever done was visit Arizona and he does not even remember why.  Thus, he daily life is filled with elaborate daydreams where he does what he actually wants.  He changes and becomes more adventurous and even he does not realize he stopped daydreaming in that time.  I am the reverse of that.  My life before now was all adventure, very similar to Walter in that I explored a volcano and even rode the one good bike available in a remote place.  I never daydreamed then.  The past few years, no adventures, and I daydream constantly.  Like I said, this movie was a wakeup call of the highest order.

The first thirty minutes of the movie I was nothing but skeptical.  I do not like gimmicks as the main engine for movies and Walter’s weak reality crossed with his fantasies of what he wishes he would do were too frequent and too long.  I thought this was going to be the whole movie and I prepared to have to suffer.  Despite these negative thoughts, I was still even early on finding myself laughing at parts.  Then I was drawn in more by the adventure and the purity of Walter’s quest to find negative #25, which was to be the photo for the final cover of Life magazine.

Ben Stiller is great in this role, and had to direct himself which I can imagine must be kind of weird.  Even though Walter is rather eccentric, Stiller plays him realistically and all Walter’s actions stay true to character.

Also helping the movie is a great soundtrack and stunning backdrops in Iceland.  Watching Walter run to a helicopter while Space Oddity plays, for example, is very atmospheric and fantastic and ethereal.  Stiller’s sense of dry humor is well suited to Walter’s character, no over the top nonsense.

There are plot twists that unfold in subtle and clever ways as Walter goes all out to find negative #25.  The payoff was even better than expected.  If it has been too long since your last adventure, or you have somehow never had one, watch THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY to get your thirst back.  It did for me.

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