Revisiting 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'

Our newest member of The Rich Report, John Wintroub, told me his favorite movie of 2013 was The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a movie I had not seen before. Despite hearing mixed opinions about the movie, I decided to check it out with him and I must say, the experience left me completely satisfied.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty tells the story of Walter Mitty, a negative assets manager for Life magazine. He works with photojournalist Sean O’Connell to display highly acclaimed photographs. He constantly daydreams about living a more thrilling life and has a crush on co-worker Cheryl Melhoff. Life magazine is under transition from print to online and Mitty must come up with a photograph from O’Connell for the final issue. However, he is missing a piece of film that is the “quintessence of life” to complete the photograph. Mitty then goes on an adventure to track down the piece.

The movie stars and is directed by Ben Stiller and he largely is the reason this film is a masterpiece. His performance as Mitty is so incredible to watch as he brings to life both a comedic and wholesome character to the film. Stiller is known for his comedic talents, but in this movie, he does an excellent job giving the story and situation substance. This movie also stars Kristen Wiig as Melhoff and she does a great job giving character to the love interest of the movie. There are many movies that make love interests vanilla charcters, but luckily that is not the case in this film. Adam Scott stars in the movie as the mean-spirited boss and he is fun to watch. He is a jerk and you can tell Scott is having a blast with his role and it adds even more life into the movie.

I cannot write a review for this movie without talking about the directing and look of this movie as that is where it truly becomes a masterpiece. Mitty is a daydreamer and there are many scenes where Mitty is daydreaming a dramatic scenario of the situation he is in. The transitions are some of the best I have ever seen in cinema and it does a great job transitioning from dreamworld to reality. Also, there are subtle ways the filmmaking differentiates what is real and what Mitty is dreaming. Stiller directed this movie with an incredible amount of effort and he deserves a high amount of praise for it.

Also, the settings this movie displays are spectacular to look at. There are grand scenes such as mountain tops, volcanoes, seas, open plains, etc. and they are all spectacular to look at. It adds to the adventure of the movie and it highlights the overall experience of the story of the film. The soundtrack does a great job escalating the emotions and adding to the overall experience. Original songs usually play during the adventurous and tough moments of the film and it makes those scenes even more impactful. The score is also great as it gives many scenes more depth and adds to the experience.

Overall, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a cinematic masterpiece that I cannot recommend enough. It is a feel-good movie that you can watch with family and friends and for those that love the technical aspects of film, you will love this movie. While the humor can be a little awkward at times, it is still a hilarious movie that everyone can sit back and enjoy. Please check out this movie!

Rating: 9.5/10

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