I remember seeing the trailers in the cinema but I never got round to seeing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in the cinema. It came across as a serious Ben Stiller film and I thought that it would be disappointing and some contractual obligation to the studio. How wrong I was.
The movie starts with Ben Stiller going through his morning routine that includes checking an on-line dating site and building up the courage to click a ‘wink’ on a lady he obviously likes. After
finally clicking the button he is greated with an error and the ‘wink’ not happening. He tries to click again and again with the same error appearing each time. He continues on his journey to work and calls the dating website (I wonder how much eHarmony paid!). While waiting for the train we experience one of Walter’s daydreams. It comes out of no-where and to start with you think maybe its some secret double life that he leads.
These appear regularly in the film to the point where you feelt that the major body of the movie might be a day-dream (similar to Nic Cage’s ‘Next’). We find out that the lady from the dating profile works in his office. We also find out more about his job and it is through this that the main body of the film develops. It takes a tangent that is unexpected and a few things happen that make you think it could be all inside a daydream. It would mean there are day-dreams inside day-dreams (like Inception) however this is not the case.
The soundtrack to the movie really does serve an excellent supporting role and complements the scenes and story. We are also treated to some amazing scenary as Walter travels around to find out about the illusive frame 25, and its creator, Sean Penn. Its makes you wonder whether frame 25 exists at all. I’m sure Walter doubted its existence as in his long career, a negative has never gone missing before.
The characters are well played and all help develop the story from start to its completion. Kristen Wiig is the love interest but they aren’t looking to create a normal Hollywood romance and its a refreshing change to see this in a big-screen setting.
This isn’t a romantic comedy. This isn’t an action film. Its an adventure film in the way most adventure films aren’t.
Although it is hard to pigeonhole, I would really recommend this film. For a friday night on the sofa you will enjoy this film. There aren’t any aliens or lasers but there are some good special effects. The only part I felt didn’t fit was a ‘Benjamin Button‘ scene that I felt was out of place. Perhaps an original cut of the film had more scenes like this however in the version I watch it stuck out like a sore thumb.
The Reverend gives this a rating of 8/10