Censor Rating: PG-13 (USA), U/A (India)
My Score: 3/5
Sometimes, simple subject movies make a major impact in the way you live your life. Last year’s Life of Pi, for instance, was a fairly simple subject movie about survival and believing in hope. It showed that whatever we do in life, we should not lose hope and that miracle (not the magical kinds) can happen to people who choose to believe in themselves. I was searching for a similar movie this year. Finally, I found one closest to this theme - The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty.
So, who is Walter Mitty? He is someone stuck in a mundane job. He is someone who thinks of reacting in one way under a situation but does not do so. He is someone who daydreams (or zones out) occasionally to escape into his world where he is the king, the hero, the stud. In other words, Walter Mitty is in everyone of us. With a premise as simple as finding the photograph which would grace the cover of the final issue of this magazine, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty focuses on its principle character as he goes through a variety of adventures in order to get the photograph titled “The Quintessence of Life”.
Story & Direction: By no way, this movie is like the Life of Pi. By no means, is this movie perfect. Storywise, it is very simple. But where this movie shines is in its narration. The screenplay is amazing in this movie. Barring the pace, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie which conveys a very elegant sentiment - Life is all about living it and not just dreaming about it.
After initial hiccups with The Cable Guy and Zoolander, Ben Stiller hit his stride with Tropic Thunder which established him as a top quality film maker. With Walter Mitty, he provides a perfect balance of comedy, mesmerizing locations, a fluent story and some really meaningful dialogues. This movie is clearly his best works as a director.
Visuals: I added Greenland and Iceland to my bucket list while I was watching the movie. Simply beautiful locations and graceful camera work truly provides a nice movie experience which aids in the story telling.
Cast & Direction: Ben Stiller shines in his role as Walter Mitty. Being the director, he was accurately aware of what is expected from the character and delivers a nice performance which captured my imagination. Kristen Wiig also does a nice job as his love interest. Sean Penn has more of a cameo role with just a couple of actual scenes. However, he delivers the most memorable scene in the movie which ironically talks about the moments of life that need to be lived rather than captured. Truly enjoyed it.
Bottomline: Walter Mitty 's secret life might not be for everyone but for those who can relate to it would find that "Life" can derive meaning as you live it. It isnt a perfect movie but it does convey the sentiment and makes you think about the Quintessence of Life. It conveys that “don't dream your life... Live it”.