The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Walter Mitty is a busy worker bee in the real world, but in his mind he is a range of adventurous, brave, and creative people. He jumps into burning buildings and sculpts hilariously over the top statuary. He says what he feels no matter how ridiculous it sounds. He is who he feels he should be… could have been. We follow him through a crazy month where one event threatens to undo 16 years of stable life. He is forced to step out of his comfort zone and borrow confidence that is typically reserved for his day dreamed persona.
More after the jump… ( No spoilers, Promise)
The trailer proclaims this movie to be the next Forest Gump, but I think that this story, while being inspiring and a beautiful story of finding ones self and creating relationships, is one in a moment of the characters life instead of a journey through out his life. Forest Gump put itself on a pedestal all its own by weaving amazing character moments with historical events that stir up personal memories for audiences of different ages. I think the sentiment of emotional connection with a character is present in both movies, but the journey is so different that the comparison has to stop there.
This journey to self discovery is visually stunning and I cannot wait for it to hit theaters so I can watch it again. I sometimes feel like beautiful screen savers have desensitized us to the point that we forget that those places actually exist. Snow capped mountains in elevation so high that you become light-headed and begin to believe you are the only person in the whole world. Places where the landscape is so vibrant, that you cannot believe it is natural. Animals that are as majestic and beautiful as they are dangerous. I myself am a slave to the beauty of the urban jungle, but movies like this make me feel like I am actually missing something by not journeying past city limits into the actual middle of nowhere.
I found myself actually thinking that climbing the Himalayas was a good idea, then I took a look inside myself and a look at the flocked facial hair that Ben Stiller was sporting and I came to my senses. Thank God for cameras and amazing story tellers. We can experience pieces of these places in the comfort of an auditorium. I won’t go into spoilers of the focus of the journey or major story points, but I will say that each piece of the puzzle comes together to create the perfect picture. The quintessence of life perhaps?
Let’s talk cast. Ben Stiller was perfect for this role. I think its the eyes, something about his eyes just screams sincerity. He is expressive enough that you believe him no matter what emotional stage Walter is in. He has the right physicality and emotional range. SNL alum, Kristen Wig, kept it pretty serious compared to most of the roles she is known for. She plays the love interest and becomes somewhat of a cheerleader for Walter’s subconscious. Sean Penn is a bit one dimensional as his character is more of an idea than a person. Penn’s character Sean O’Connell is a photographer and a pen pal (of sorts) for Walter Mitty. His character sets Walter’s journey in motion and without that energy, we wouldn’t have a story here.
I absolutely loved this movie and I feel like most people will enjoy it too. I always tell people when they ask me if i recommend a movie that it depends on the expectations you walk into the theater with. If you are looking for the next Forest Gump, you may be disappointed, but if you are looking for a touching adventure film about people, I think you will be plesantly surprised and over all, entertained.