The first thing that you realise walking out after watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is that is how much you can enjoy a simple narrative , how much you can relate to the daily troubles of a very average person like us. An uncomplicated story line, no twists . Just a man who has waited maybe too long to follow his dreams and his journey.
Now , I was intrigued when I first saw the trailer , especially by the day dreaming part. We are all day dreamers , some of us more than we care to admit ( like me 😛 ) . We day dream when we are happy , angry or yearning for something , and for a few moments we are lost in that world of our own.
So , whats so special about this movie?
Does it have a brilliant story line ? No!
Does the star cast take the story to another level? No!
Its all in the narrative and the visuals . Its about how Walter finds his courage , how he finally realizes everything he was just doing in his day dreams.
Ben Stiller has slid into the shoes of Walter very naturally . A 42 year old , unmarried guy at menial job , unrecognized at work , trying to find his place in the universe. Its not hard to understand why he zones out every few hours into his day dreaming mode. He is a negative asset manager for a magazine called Life , which is just about to print their final issue before going online , the fun begins when Walter cant find the negative Sean O Connell (played by Sean Penn) , the magazine’s favorite photographer.
The quest to find Sean and the negative for the final cover of the magazine takes Walter on his breathtaking journey to Greenland to jumping into the sea with sharks to Iceland , running away from volcanos , then finally to the Himalayas in Afghanistan . The movie has some really stunning visuals , entire scenes of just natural beauty and scenery , which makes you wonder if the director wanted you to see and soak in what you’re missing out on sitting in your office cubicle.
Sean Penn has a relatively small role , and a very cliched one you can say , where the protagonist has to hear about the meaning of life from someone else before the realization dawns on him . But then again he has done his part beautifully and the conversation between Walter and Sean is an eye opener.
The movie ends on a happy note , although he loses his job ( but I guess thats the happy part right ? Now he’s free 🙂 )
Rating : 7/10