Ben Stiller has really outdone himself with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, not only as an actor, but as a director. Now I’ve never actually seen the original 1947 film, so I can’t really compare. I do understand that for this remake however, it had a lot of new elements and was practically a re-imagining of an old story.
Ben Stiller plays Walter Mitty, a negative assets manager for Life Magazine who has spent most of his life constantly daydreaming about going on adventures, but never acting upon his desires. Although he has been working at the company for 16 years, Mitty has never adhered to Life Magazine‘s motto; “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” When his job threatened and finds himself embarking on a quest to crack the mystery of the missing photo he was meant to receive from photojournalist, Sean O’Connell played by Sean Penn. Better than any dream, Mitty creates his own journey through life far more exciting and eventful than he ever imagined.
Whilst there were some scenes in the film that weren’t as funny as they should have been, for the most part the serious emotional dimensions of this film make it more substantial. And even though The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is far from perfect, this does not mean that it is not beautiful. The overall plot was consistent, the character development is unmatched and the visuals in this film are stunning.
Not only did this film reignite my dreams of travelling the world (as I too am a daydreamer), but it also made me appreciate the beauty and art of photojournalism. The moving, touching and emotional scenes in this film are enough to make me overlook where the movie is flawed. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be appreciated and loved. And I for one LOVED it.