Review Date: 01/23/2014
Rating: 5/5 Peanuts.
In a Nutshell:
Though at times verging on excessively overt symbolism, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is, at its core, a simple, beautiful film that burrows its way into your soul and will change your outlook on life for the better.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a beautiful film, and thinking about that makes me sad. It makes me sad because people don’t seem to make many beautiful films anymore. They make epic dramas or intense special-effects laden popcorn flicks or raunchy but forgettable comedies. They love making relatively pointless art house pieces and vapid rom-coms by the score, but simple, beautiful films that burrow their way into your soul and change your outlook on life? There aren’t a lot of those.
But that is what The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was for me. The film was funny, not because it relied on shock value gags, but because it was written, acted, directed and edited by people who understand comedy. The conflicts were relatable, because everyone has wanted someone they couldn’t have, or has gotten into hot water at work, or has felt trapped in the daily drudgery of their own little lives. The story was uplifting because who doesn’t yearn for adventure and personal fulfillment? And the film’s lessons were simple: Get out there, do something, see some place new, become a better, fuller person, experience life while you can, because life is all there is, and every moment you waste is another moment you will never, ever, get back.
I won’t ruin it with plot synopsis and I won’t try to sell you on the mechanical procedure of filmmaking that went into this picture. To echo what Sean Penn’s character says in the film, if I see a beautiful moment, sometimes I like to experience it without the camera getting in the way. So go and experience life. Go and experience Walter Mitty.