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Friday, January 3, 2014

Movie Review - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Movie Title
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Year
2013
Genre
Adventure, Comedy, Drama
This is a reboot of the 1947 movie (! Yup, there was a 1947 version of this movie!) which was from an original short story with the same name from 1939. Wow - so much history in this movie.
Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is someone whom most would call a timid guy who leads a rather un-eventful life. So he compensates by literally zoning-out regularly and that’s where he lives out his most outrageous fantasies. The movie starts with Walter registering himself into a dating site just to get to know a female colleague that he fancies but is too timid to approach personally, Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig).
 And this is where the audiences get their fun as we can’t really predict what he’s gonna think himself into and we can’t wait for his next spacing-out episode because they all are totally unrelated and really fun to watch.
 Walter Mitty and the rest of his colleagues working in the LIFE Magazine office being told of the inevitable news that the printed version of LIFE Magazine will come to an end in a couple of months and their focus should be on producing the best cover ever for LIFE’s final issue. 
 Walter is the manager for the Negative Asset Dept (for film & photography) and coincidentally, the LIFE office receives a roll of negatives from a world renowned reclusive photographer Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn), who happens to be Walter’s close and trusted friend. And in O'Connell's message, he told Walter and the LIFE Magazine management that the picture #25 from the roll was the picture that defined what life or LIFE Magazine was all about. 
However, the picture #25 was somehow removed from the rest of the roll of negatives! So the rest of the movie was basically his personal quest to track down Sean O'Connell, wherever in the world he may be, as he's always travelling to capture the next picture, and to ask O'Connell about what happened to picture #25 and how to locate it!

There are certain parts of the movie where it reminded me or at least made me think about one of my all-time favourite movies – Forrest Gump. This was especially so when Walter was skate-boarding across Iceland
Acting
I admit that although I'm not a real fan of Sean Penn or Shirley Maclaine (who plays Walter's mum - Edna Mitty), but these two turned in really fantastic performances here despite having very little screen time. I'll have to say this about Madonna's ex-hubby, he's a real ugly "kid" but credit where it's due, whenever I see him in ANY role, he delivers in spades! (kinda like Edward Norton, but of course, Ed's much better looking than Sean but both are outstanding actors.)
I also thought the cinematography was very well done, capturing the beautiful panoramic vistas of the Greenland & Iceland landscapes.

Overall
Ben Stiller really looked good in this movie. I say this because Ben normally has this look about him that's not quite normal but difficult to put a finger on it. 

Yes, most of the experiences Walter goes thru' are just too fantastic to be taken seriously but then again, that's exactly what movies out to provide, a fun outlet for audiences to live out fantasies, however fantastic they may be, thru' the characters such as Walter.
I find it very relatable because in Walter, we have someone who is as ordinary as anyone can ever be and he's doing some really extraordinary stuff. It's very uplifting because it gives hope to us all
The curiousity factor from viewers trying to see what new fantasy Walter will find himself in and also what picture #25 is are enough reason to keep me hooked right to the end! I also thought the pacing was very good as there were no dull moments where I was thinking "I need some popcorn" or "I should go to the loo now".

I can't say for others but it gave me a good feeling walking out of the cinema and I would recommend this movie to anyone as it's not a typical movie but also not so strange and inaccessible as say Being John Malkovich.

Rating: 7/10

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