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Movie Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

29 December 2013 No Comment

Promotional theater poster

By: Daniela A Torres
Staff Reporter

In The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Ben Stiller directs and stars in a story about a longtime photo processor at Life magazine. Walter Mitty is the ultimate ordinary guy introduced in the movie balancing a checkbook. He uses eHarmony to try to connect with a woman, played by Kristen Wiig, who works in his own office. However, Walter lives wildly in his own dream world, which he goes to constantly regardless of what he is doing, thus making him seem aloof to everyone.

While Life is transitioning into an online magazine and planning its last print issue, Walter is charged with developing the last cover picture. But he loses the negative of the photo. This leads him on a fantastic journey in search of the elusive photographer, Sean O’Connell (played by Sean Penn), and Walter goes from daydreaming about extraordinary scenarios to living them.

As a film hoping to inspire living life to its fullest it might not have gone much further than its use of Life’s motto. The far-fetched scenes produced by Walter’s overactive imagination, initially amusing, incline toward annoying. His daydreams often interfere with his ability to carry a conversation with both the woman he is interested in and his boss. The story does at one point hint that Walter’s imagination keeps him from living a life as incredible as his dreams, but the fact that his daydreams distract movie goers as well is merely coincidental.

The movie sets Walter against stunningly beautiful backdrops and uses remarkable graphics for his daydreams but the story itself leaves something to be desired. In spite of the lackluster storyline, the actors’ performances were well executed. Wiig shed her usual comedic role and became a likeable love interest. Even in his short scene, Penn played a great wandering photographer.

The movie was unable to achieve a balance between comic relief, the graver back story and the freeing adventure Walter embarks on, making it unable to truly capture its viewers.

By: NOVA Fortnightly Staff

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