The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Length: 114 minutes / 1.9 hours
Let me start by saying that I was skeptical to go see this film, mainly because it starred Ben Stiller. Given his track record of “comedies,” I found myself avoiding his films just because I knew that they’d be crude and not the type of comedy I would enjoy. Much in the same way I was surprised by Will Ferrell in Stranger than Fiction (2006), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) was a pleasant surprise. I don’t know if it’s because he also directed this film, but I truly enjoyed it on many levels, both as a lover of movies and a lover of photography.
The strength of this film lies in its imagery and presentation. The beauty of our world and the way it’s captured in the travels of a man coming out of his shell is truly inspiring. I can honestly say I haven’t seen a film nearly this encouraging in quite a while. As someone who often struggles to find the courage to try new things or break out of my tried-and-true routines, I can confirm that the daydreaming fantasies of those lacking confidence are merely the coping mechanisms of introverts too scared to risk failure, thus inevitably missing out on the fantastic adventures this world has to offer.
But even the message to get out and experience the world is tempered by the reminder to truly be “in the moment.” Each time I watch this film, I cry every time the world-famous photographer lets the perfect picture pass him by, merely so he can be fully present in the experience of the moment. I have taken these “snow leopard moments” to heart, embracing the ability to enjoy a special time without having to document it for social media. Oh, and on a final side note: what cellular service does Walter Mitty have? I ask because the calls he got in the Himalayas were crystal clear!
A fantastic film that embraces the “everyman” and the endless possibilities of our world, I give The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 5.0 stars out of 5.