The Secret Life of Walter Mitty film review

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(Rating: PG, 114 mins) Written by Zen Terrelonge

Starring – Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; a tale about how happiness can be found in the darkest of places if one only remembers to turn on the light.

Wait, that’s Harry Potter – there is some truth to the aforementioned statement, however.

Walter is a pleasant but downtrodden man of forty-odd who has always done right by his sister and mother, despite the adverse effects his decisions have had on his own personal journey.

Walter Mitty 2

The death of his Walter’s father in his teenage years meant abandoning skateboarding and dreams of travelling in favour of getting a haircut and a job to support the women in his life.

Some years later and our man is working at the hallowed Life magazine in the photo processing department, a job which is highly important although his colleagues fail to recognise that.

Don’t feel sorry for Walter though – he has a secret… A dirty, great, big imagination.

In fact, it’s often a reason for him being a source of ridicule among his peers – particularly new managing director Ted (Scott) who takes an instant dislike to Walter in true schoolyard bully fashion.

Obviously, Scott drew upon his experience playing an arrogant and conceited antagonist in Step Brothers.

Meanwhile, colleague Cheryl (Wiig) is at the heart of the story, but rather than making it a schmaltzy romance about their wonderful life together, Walter’s interest in her only empowers him and enables his growth, which is very much the focus of the movie.

Walter Mitty

Admittedly, I wasn’t fussed about seeing the film, but I loved it and I take my hat off to Stiller for both his acting and direction.

The lack of excitement in Walter’s world is made up tenfold when he ‘zones out.’ The daydreams are fused into real world happenings seamlessly, so you never quite know what’s genuine and what’s an illusion, thus temporarily keeping you guessing.

Most of Stiller’s usual over-the-top comedy is saved for the daydreams, while subtle humour plays out on the other side. The dream sequences themselves vary in extremes, resembling scenes from The Matrix to a simple insults.

Stiller, of course, is known for playing neurotic characters who end up exploding in some way and to a very slight extent that happens with Walter, except he’s truly affable rather than laughable, and his evolution has purpose.

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There’s a Walter Mitty in all of us, I know that’s certainly the case for myself, and I think that’s why the film resonated with me so much.

It’s captured beautifully, with breathtaking locations in both the real and dream worlds which adds to the magic.


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is in cinemas now.

About zentertainmentweekly

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Posted on 08/01/2014, in Film Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. This film sounds interesting. From the trailers I’ve seen, it looks like a film I’d like. I may have to see it!

  2. Good review Zen. While it may not be a perfect movie, Stiller still delivers on it more so than he should have and I do have to give him the benefit of the doubt for that.

  3. I too love the evolution of Walter’s character. Stiller hits a homerun performance. I also wrote an analysis on Walter Mitty. Blogger to blogger, I’d love for you to check it out!

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