By Jack Rico
The “1-4-0″: @WalterMitty is dramedy that has heart and a real message about embracing life to its fullest. It’s very well shot and it’s simply a joy to watch.
The Gist: An awkward man who works in the photograph division at Life Magazine daydreams about becoming a man good enough to gain the interest of his work crush, all while traveling the world in search of a missing photograph in order to save his job.
The Highlights: ‘The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty‘ is a visual, color saturated feast for the eyes, courtesy of Stuart Dryburgh, David Swayze and Ben Stiller. If you were to hypothetically put the film on mute, you would enjoy just watching it. That’s when you know a film is shot well. The script from Steve Conrad (The Pursuit of Happiness, The Promotion) is a slow burner. It starts with a leisure, unhurried pace taking its time to give its characters life, purpose and reason. By the second act, the story quickens driven by imaginative fantasy sequences that are enjoyable whilst engaging. The third and final act returns to a passive pace, but now, you care about these characters, despise the villain and understand what Mitty’s journey is all about. We know characters like him, either because we are him or know souls such as him. The final scene hits a nostalgic sentiment that suggests commitment, loyalty, legacy and a sense of quality and artistry that used to rule the standards of media as the imperative canon. Even though there are fibers of melancholy that run through the veins of the script and the performances, it serves as a great showcase for what Stiller can do best – display a grand sense of susceptibility that one can only, if reluctantly, surrender to.
The Lowlights: Watching ‘The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty‘ could be a tedious task for some due to Stiller’s reputation of comic vulgarity. You won’t be seeing any of that here. This is a quirky, heartfelt dramedy, one that takes some time involving yourself in. Once you do though, you’ll appreciate it. Not all films have to be instant gratification. I value films that are creative and ingenious in developing mood and feeling, because I ultimately need to feel something, anything in the theater. The days of squandering my time on dissatisfying films that don’t shape me in some way are over. I need to be affected and in today’s modern cinema, that is something I rarely attain anymore.
Pay or Nay?: Pay for it. ‘The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty‘ will delight you with its imagination, sense of wonder, underdog sensibilities and the pursuit of romance and adventure. Give it a chance and let it take you on its journey.
Release Date: December 25, 2013
Screenplay: Steve Conrad, James Thurber
Director(s): Ben Stiller
Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Patton Oswalt, Shirley MacLaine, Kathryn Hahn, Sean Penn, Finise Avery, Joey Slotnick, Toshiko Onizawa, Adrian Martinez
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Film Genre: Adventure | Drama | Romance