The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Running Time: 114 minutes
Directed by: Ben Stiller
Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn, Adam Scott
Based on a short story by James Thurber, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty tells the tale of Walter Mitty (of course) (Stiller), an avid day-dreamer who escapes from his mundane life into his fantasies which are often filled with themes such as romance and heroism. When his job along with one of his colleagues, Cheryl (Wiig) are threatened, Walter is forced to take action in the real world that could save their company, LIFE magazine, by embarking on an adventure around the world where Walter finally has the chance to experience and see the world more than his imagination.
As a fan of Ben Stiller (his acting & directing work), I was psyched about the film when it was announced and was still in production. When watching the film, from the opening scene (a quiet room with Stiller with his budget and calculator) to the very final scene, I found myself sucked into a whole other world, just like Walter Mitty himself, I was in awe of the beauty and humor of the film. It kept me engaged and curious throughout. The first thing I noticed was the cinematography and editing, especially the transitions from one scene to another, kudos to Stuart Dryburgh (D.O.P.) and Greg Hayden (editor). It was almost flawless. The long landscape shots of New York, and Iceland was breathtakingly beautiful. The script (Steve Conrad), though cliché, it was written well. It was filled with random hilarious/witty moments/one-liners to smart and inspiring dialogues/lines that would stop and make you think. The film managed to balance both the humor and serious sides throughout the film that keeps the movie light-hearted.
Even though I find myself seated in a quiet theater during most of the duration of the film, the soundtrack and score (Theodore Shapiro) fitted with the movie well, as it weaves intricately in and out of a scene. The costume was simple and the colours picked for the individual characters helped defined them even more. The main cast, Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, Sean Penn, Adrian Martinez and Shirley MacLaine gave a solid performance. Ben Stiller manage to bring both the pitiful and fighter in his character out in the scenes, it was hard to peel one’s eyes off him. A special mention to Sean Penn as photographer, Sean O’Connell was enigmatic to watch. Lastly, Ben Stiller as the director, I thought did an amazing job with this film. I’ve always loved his work as a director since I watched Reality Bites, and it was just exciting to see this film had been well-received, especially amongst the audience. Well done Mr. Stiller!
Overall, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a pleasure to watch. It was a feast to one’s heart, ears, and eyes. Highly recommended to those who are looking for an inspiring, smart, follow-your-dreams, light-hearted, feel-good kind of movie.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10