Film Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Have you ever watched the trailer of a movie and thought, “This is strange, I would watch this if I had the cash to spare?” Well, after seeing the trailer for ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ I thought, “This is peculiar. I would write about this if I had the time to watch it.” I found the time, and fortunately I was not disappointed.


First things first

The plot is hardly related to the original 1947 film, and for good reason. The storyline of the remake is streamlined to fit the digital age. This beautiful account details Walter Mitty’s journey, as an ordinary man who emerges from his mundane life to truly become the courageous hero he is in his day dreams. The crux of the story is not that an ordinary man broke out of his shell and became extraordinary, but rather that he realises the extraordinary lies within the ordinary. This movie is perfect for a Saturday afternoon, when you are done tossing exhausted ideas in your head about the meaning of life. The adventure of Walter Mitty’s life is a mild version of National Treasure crossing lines with an even milder Elizabethtown (I know, two old movies for you to Google).  The end is neither heart-warming nor tear-jerking, but rather, satisfying.


The casting

Many actors like Owen Wilson, Mike Myers and Jim Carrey were proposed for the lead role, but ultimately Ben Stiller did a superb job in creating the Walter Mitty to which audience members will relate. Do not let the fantasy scenes created in the trailer fool you; Ben Stiller fills the shoes of a serious character.  Sure, the film has its comedic moments, but nothing like the crass, slapstick comedies for which Ben Stiller is known. This is truly a reflection of Ben Stiller’s growth as an actor and director.

Kristen Wiig was rather surprising as the leading lady. You fall in love with the sweetheart Cheryl Melhoff, who is far more dignified than Wiig’s Bridesmaids character, Annie Walker. Without giving away too many surprises, the relationship that develops between Cheryl and Walter is more believable than Edward and Bella’s (because anything is still a better love story than Twilight).

Then there is Adam Scott, who plays the obnoxious boss with a rug for a beard, Ted Hendricks, who is oh so easy to hate.  Scott is seasoned in playing douchey characters (you may remember him from ‘Friends with Kids’ or ‘Parks and Recreation’).

Shirley MacLaine and Sean Penn both have minor roles which are essential to the story. Maclaine serves the role as Walter’s mother, much like the Cheshire cat in ‘Alice in Wonderland’, she drops some important clues Walter takes on his journey. Penn, is the soulful inspiration for Walter’s journey. The maps of life on his face, coupled with the memorable lines he tosses will make you think, “Oh my word that was deep.”


Let us talk music

The soundtrack instantly engulfs you in the adventure. Boasting with a playlist with artists like David Bowie, Of Monsters and Men, Jose Gonzalez and Jack Johnson. The folk sounds are the undercurrent which carries the story between dialogues. The soundtrack really is the blood flowing through the veins of this story, communicating Walter Mitty’s journey in the best way possible.


Miscellaneous things

The cinematography wraps you in the picturesque scenes of the wild. Do not be surprised when you hear yourself shrieking, “Watch Out!” The script is simultaneously packed with depth and light hearted conversations.  One soon learns to draw the line between the literal and the emotive, which Walter Mitty himself does, as he is set free from the boundaries of his mind.



It should be no secret that, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, will be cash well spent.


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