The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Walter Mitty is a hardworking man who often daydreams about an alternate extravagant life and persona very much unlike his own shy, soft-spoken demeanor. But what actually happens to him is an adventure that he could not conjure up, even with his colourful imagination. As shy as he is, he also has a crush on a fellow employee whom he tries to contact over a well-known online dating site. Through his adventures that stem from conflicts in his workplace, he is brought closer to the one he admires and along the way he teaches all of us about the miraculous thing known as life.
Walter Mitty works at Life magazine as a negative assets manager, meaning the negatives for all the photos that make it into the magazine go through him and are processed by him and his subordinate. In this digital age, there is a greater emphasis on the internet and less on physical copies of a magazine. As such, Life magazine opts to go paperless and becomes exclusively an online publication. Needless to say, many individuals will lose their jobs following the publication of the final printed issue – whose cover photo is in the trusty hands of Walter Mitty. However, the cover photo taken by famed photographer Sean O’Connell goes missing under Walter Mitty’s watch, so he must go on a magnificent journey to track down the photographer before the final issue is printed.
This film is beautifully shot with some absolutely breathtaking scenery as you, the viewer, are taken on this journey with Walter Mitty. The journey takes him through Greenland to Iceland and even to The Himalayas. The amazing picturesque scenery is only a bonus to the telling of Walter Mitty’s story. It is a story of a humble hardworking man pondering his values and sharing his perspective of life. Being introverted myself, I connected very much with the character of Walter Mitty, played by Ben Stiller, who portrayed the character impressively and showcased some great dramatic performances. Walter Mitty is an intriguing character that to some extent we can all relate to; he escapes into his imagination through daydreaming as an outlet for his bland working life. This film draws me in simply because of how much I could connect to the protagonist of the story as well as relating to the struggles and aspirations we all seem to feel. It’s a story of an ordinary individual embarking on an extravagant adventure that most people could only dream of.
There are some romantic elements involved in the movie but moreso, this movie reflects on life and all its existential themes of purpose and meaning seen through a looking glass into Walter Mitty’s life. As much as this film shows some spectacular views and scenery, its overall message is very down-to-earth and provides a little something for everyone to take from. At the end of the movie, it is hard to describe how I felt because it’s hard to even describe what life itself even means. I felt uplifted and happy, but it was also bittersweet as many good things will inevitably come to an end. It is this very story of Walter Mitty that could capture the ‘quintessence of life’ and I suggest you give it a watch.