Posted by: Financial Sith Lord | January 12, 2014

Movie Review: Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

ImageToday, I had the chance to watch a movie with my loved ones, at Cathay Cineplex Damansara. It was a night show of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. Despite encountering some disturbing ill-mannered couple that sat next to me in the cinema (it was a Malaysian young  boyfriend and girlfriend, snuggling giggly anticipating the movie, and the boy would narrate out-loud what he sees on the screen to his girlfriend. I was just not about to let these obtuse and unintelligent beings disturb my movie experience, thus I stomped off to the row ahead of us, where seats were empty), I totally enjoyed the show and the experience that the movie brought to me… 

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (TSLOWM), is an adaptation of an original short story written by James Thurber, first appeared on The New Yorker in March 18, 1939. In 1947, TSLOWM was turned into a silver screen movie with Danny Kaye playing the lead role, but portrayed in a totally different scenario than the original. The TSLOWM in 2013 is an adaptation directed by Ben Stiller himself, loosely and cohesively based on the original version. Its a story of a day-dreamer Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) who works as a Photo Asset Technician with Life Magazine, escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-workers and love Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.


Throughout the movie, I was entertained by the simplistic approach and treatment of Ben’s direction, with hints and touches often found in an Indy movie. Ben uses a fine mixture of artistic impressions, astounding exploitation of nature’s beauty, a dash of hollywood commercial elements, coupled with some hard facts of real-life human-like day-to-day situations, which can be easily related to all of us. Ben successfully transported me into Walter Mitty (WM)’s real world, by visually aiding me into feeling what WM felt, smelling the freshness of air that WM inhaled, there was the road biking on an empty long beautiful country road when he was in Greenland, the thrill of skateboarding downhill on a wonderful waving road in Iceland, the unexpected plots, the emotional roller coster.. It was just breath-taking. 


Ben, Kristen and Sean Penn delivered honest and effective acting, with minimal dialogues. Expressions and gestures were their key deliverance of messages, almost throughout the movie. Ben also smartly used text motion graphics to deliver important plots in the middle of the story. 

In my honest opinion, this movie is unlike those other Hollywood movies I’ve seen before, as I could sense, feel and taste honesty and sincerity in almost every part of this movie. I’m not too sure whether this is Ben’s first attempt in directing, but he has managed to convince me to anticipate and look out for more of his work in the future. 

The last time I reviewed a movie was “The Tourist” casting Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, and that time, when the credit titles rolled out, I headed straight to the toilet.. And surprisingly this time around, the same thing happened. But despite having to fight the urge of running of to the gents midway the movie, I managed to put it on hold until the end.. That’s how good the movie was.

Financial Sith Lord’s Verdict: 9.1




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