The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is a story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.
Genre : Adventure/Drama/Comedy
Country : USA
Ben Stiller : Walter Mitty
Adam Scott : Ted Hendricks
Kristen Wiig : Cheryl
“Put that on a plaque and hang it at your next job.”
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is an epic adventure with breathtaking images that are used to embellish the simplistic and moralizing story a bit. The whole movie has a Walt Disney atmosphere in which a nondescript person searches for a lost negative which is necessary for the last cover of the magazine “Life”. I wouldn’t really call it a comedy. Personally I’m not a big fan of Ben Stiller. The man always has an impassive and apathetic look that doesn’t really fit into a comedy. In this movie, however, it is in place. One might expect that this would change slightly as the movie progresses. Yet he remains walking around with an expressionless face the entire movie, despite the fact that he travels halfway around the world in search of the eccentric and unworldly photographer Sean O’Connell.
Actually it’s more of a dramatic adventure with a romantic slant wich focuses on Mitty’s daydreams. For him these dreams are a way to escape from everyday worries. At that time he can do an assertive heroic performance in the most intrepid adventures. In those dreams he’s an imaginary person he never will be. He’s a loyal employee of “Life” already for years and he is working together with another “nobody” in the basement of the building, where they digitize the negatives. He also falls secretly in love with his colleague Cheryl (Kristen Wiig). Of course, he is too shy to speak to Cheryl personally, so he subscribes at the dating-site “eHarmony”.
This is also the opening scene, and for me, actually the funniest moment in the whole movie. Unfortunately it’s not continued in this way. He can’t contact Cheryl through this site because his profile isn’t complete. He still needs to complete the topics “Hobbies and Traveling”. The way things develop during the movie ensures that he finds himself looking at life in a different way and the search for the negative leads him successively to Iceland, Greenland and the Himalayas, making his profile extremely adventurous and he succeeds in making a connection with Cheryl.
Ben Stiller acted in this film with more character than all his previous movies. A role that fits so perfectly with his appearance . The most colorful character was played by Adam Scott as the unpleasant manager Ted Hendricks. A young yuppie that leads the transition from the magazine to the digital era and does this in such a derogatory pedantic way. He doesn’t even know the motto of “Life”. His appearance with his gaudy beard was so caricatured that it was actually laughable. The moment Mitty hands over the negative to Ted and appears with a small beard because of him traveling back and forth, it seems as if he has risen to the level of Ted. A beautiful used metaphor . Kristen Wiig plays the adorable and sometimes timid Cheryl. Shirley MacLaine plays the role of Mitty ‘s mother in a restrained manner. The most charismatic role was played by Sean Penn as the eccentric photographer who sits lonely and hidden on the top of a mountain to photograph a mysterious snow leopard. A perfectly casted Penn who is a personification of the morale in this film. Regardless what your contribution is, ultimately you are still an important part in the whole process.
The denouement and the final picture that adorns the front page still was a bit of a surprise to me and the sweet romantic ending was a bit corny. But in the end it was still a nice, in terms of imaging and content, movie. A movie to dream away a bit.