Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013) Film Review
The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
The man has form. James Thurber's short story in The New Yorker became Danny Kaye's 1949 movie, followed by clones, such as Billy Liar, and suddenly in the Fifties the expression "being a Walter Mitty" entered popular parlance, meaning a dreamer, a daydreamer.
The modern generation knows nothing of this, so when Ben Stiller comes along in 2013 and tears it to pieces, they wouldn't be aware of what has been vandalised.
Walter Mitty (Stiller), Life magazine's negative asset manager, responsible for filing and providing pictures sent in by staff photographers is, as you would expect, a nobody. He works in the basement and has no life outside. He's not shy, although appears so; he's why?
Guys like this never get the girl, never go anywhere, are obsessed with the minutiae of their work and are about as much fun as The Knitting Society's monthly newsletter.
Life - the mag, not that thing you do - is being closed down and they want a particular picture from their reclusive star photographer (Sean Penn) for the final cover. Mitty cannot locate it and so embarks on a travelogue in an attempt to find the man who snapped it.
Before he leaves there are a couple of CGI superhero-type daydreams which turn out to be the sole references to Thurber. After that it's air miles and chilly adventures in bleak landscapes.
Oh, there is a girl (Kristen Wiig). Walter fancies her, but she doesn't notice - who would? - until he brings back a skateboard from Greenland for her son.
He takes the antihero into areas of sad you never knew you wanted to avoid.
The dreams are fun; the rest is a test.Reviewed on: 03 Jan 2014
If you like this, try:Billy Liar