This film had a certain appeal to me because I can easily relate to the main character. I often daydream of fanciful things at random moments, although I don’t zone out (thankfully) like Walter Mitty does. Who doesn’t daydream anyways?
To see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to, that is the purpose of life.
The line above is the company motto / quote of Life magazine in the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. This film is based on the 1939 short story by James Thurber, and a remake of the 1947 film of the same name. Our lead character, Walter Mitty, is a negative assets manager for Life Magazine who has a habit of zoning out when he daydreams of fantastical adventures and amazing feats. When Life Magazine gets acquired and is now going online, everybody prepares for the last issue to be published on paper. However, the photo to be used in the last cover page, said to reflect the “Quintessence of Life”, is missing. Walter travels out of his comfort zone to find the photographer of the missing photograph, and by doing so he gets into an adventure and starts living his dreams.
|Um…my idea of an adventure is not exactly life threatening but..okay.|
The movie invests a lot on the concept of “living your dreams” and turning your dreams into reality. The movie most probably appealed more to yuppies like me, who spend most of their days in their cramped cubicles, answering phone calls, convincing themselves that they are destined for something greater in life. The movie is able to engage the audience (or me at least), because it was relatable.
|Jerks. Every office has them.|
Not only was it relatable, it was a whole lot of fun as well. The script was witty – it made me do more than a few chuckles with the characters’ clever lines. The script’s wit was reinforced by the amusing plot, anchored on Walter’s spontaneous daydreams that you would find really funny because you know you’ve also imagined similar things.
|This is me when everyone else thinks the aircon in the office isn’t cold enough|
The fact that the film features daydreaming made the whole the movie very spontaneous, to the point that sometimes you’re not so sure if something is actually happening, or if it’s a part of Walter’s ambitious adventures in his head. The transition to different scenes were also seamless and creative. The most notable thing about the movie though, is the scoring and the soundtrack. The music makes everything feel larger, and it gives a feeling of “epicness” to the scene, especially when Walter goes on a larger than life adventure. Speaking of the scenes, the movie feature beautiful shots of the landscapes of Iceland, including a volcano called Eyjafjallajökull (say it three times).
Beautiful shots, a witty script, awesome scoring, and an outstanding acting performance makes this movie a good one. And it’s really inspiring so that’s a plus – makes me want to go out there and do things that my conservative conscience would tell me not to. Although honestly, I’m not sure how it would fare when compared to its 1947 predecessor, or how loyal this movie was to the book.