The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is James Thurber's classic story of a day-dreamer who 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-worker are threatened, Walter 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.I have to start by admitting that I am generally not a fan of Ben Stiller. Zoolander, Tropic Thunder. Not really my scene. So I was so pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this film and his role. I should also note that I've not read the James Thurber short story, nor seen the 1947 version of the film, so I do not have any preconceptions of how the story "should" unfold. Suffice it to say that, from what I understand, this is neither a re-make of the earlier film, nor a loyal telling of the short story. It is rather a modern imagining of the general theme.
As the synopsis states, Walter Mitty is a dreamer, not a man of action. His day to day life is rather mundane, and he tends to drift off into fantasy-land as he imagines alternate, heroic ways for situations to play out. This dreamworld doesn't last long in the film, as he begins his real-life adventures. Those adventures take him to gorgeous locales in Greenland, Iceland, and the Himalayas, and the cinematography is breathtaking.
Not just the images make the movie, the story is also engaging. Walter's real-life adventures, in search of the mysterious "Frame 25," are over the top exciting, to the point he initially can't quite believe he isn't in fact dreaming again. We get to watch him grow in confidence and his ability to truly live life.
Of course, there's a love interest woven in as well, a nasty work situation, and a family back-story. It all hangs together convincingly to create an enjoyable and thoughtful film. 8 out of 10.
"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is available now on BluRay, DVD, and digital download from 20th Century Fox. Running time 114 minutes. Rated PG.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this BluRay to facilitate this review. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.