A day-dreamer 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, he 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.
I posted the trailer here on my blog last year; I forgot how this movie came to my attention but the trailer blew me away both visually and story-wise, so I was really keeping a lookout for this movie. Finally got my hands on a copy recently so I was really excited to watch it 🙂
Suffice to say, I really loved the movie. It is visually stunning, from bringing Walter’s daydreams to life to his everyday life at the beginning of the movie to the location shots and his adventures. I was listening to a bit of commentary from Ben Stiller about how he wanted his life at the beginning of the movie to be all about lines and panels and stuff and how over the course of the movie, the camera begins to move and there’s a lot more colour and vibrancy to the movie’s feel. And it really shows, representing the transition of Walter’s life from what was before (mundane? Not are full as it could be?) to a life fully realised. I really loved the sequences portraying Greenland, Iceland, and the Himalayas, they were just beautifully shot (not to mention beautiful locations), Ben Stiller and his crew did a wonderful job with the direction and cinematography.
The story itself was wonderful and uplifting too. I was delighted to follow Walter as he moved from his “anonymous”, safe, and shy life to a life where he was braver and which he saw and did a lot of wonderful and exciting things. I found him to be quite relateable, and I loved the gradual reveal of his backstory through his mother and sister (equally wonderful) and through his conversations with Cheryl (I think this is the first time I’ve watched something with Kirsten Wiig; who, by the way, has a nice singing voice). It was interesting how he went from this skateboarding, mohawk-and-rocker-shirts-wearing kid to this buttoned-up, sort of drab (there’s a word for this, and it’s not bad but a total turnaround/opposite) fellow to this relaxed, casual person at the end (wished he get the stubble/beard btw, he looked good). But yeah, loved the character, loved how he withdrew into daydreams but found a strength to go out there and experience all of those things, and rooted for him all the way.
I should mention, the soundtrack is fantastic. The theme song is wonderful, and I love the collaboration that the crew had with Jose Gonzales, his songs really fit the movie. And other songs from Of Monsters and Men, Junip, and David Bowie really rounded out the rest of the soundscape 🙂
Overall, I really, really, really enjoyed watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It’s visually stunning and the story is fantastic (with a touch of magical realism, I should say; there’s no way some of those instances would actually happen, but as a story it’s nice the way everything linked up and some of the stuff that happened). It was also a bit funnier than I expected it to be; not like, outright-comedy, but the humour was great. I highly recommend this movie, it’s probably one of the best I’ve seen this year 🙂