The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller, 2013): USA

Reviewed by Yuichi K. Viewed at TCL Chinese Theater, AFI Fest 2013

When you have time, what do you imagine? These imaginations are closely with your lives. Everyday, you may fall into the same paradigms, and you can’t get rid of the routines. Walter Mitty’s world in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” directed by Ben Stiller, is special for everyone’s life.

Walter Mitty, an editor of the LIFE magazine, is a day dreamer, and sometimes fall into his world. In his imaginary world, he is always the hero. At this point, his real life is not always smart. One day, when he gets his office, the floor is very busy. Then Walter hears that the LIFE magazine shifts to online. For the final issue of the paper magazine, Walter has to pick a cover photograph. However, when he develops the photographs, a happening takes place. He decides to meet his acquaintance, the LIFE magazine photographer, Sean O’Connell.

In “Night At the Museum,” Ben Stiller performed for Larry, the security person in the museum. When all visitors and workers are gone from the museum at night, all the exhibitions get out from the showcases and moving around. In this “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” as the imaginary sequences, similar ideas alive in everywhere. For the gaps between Walter’s realities and ideals, efficiently they were used. Walter becomes the superhero and the cover of the LIFE magazine start moving in his imaginations are very fun. Also, as a middle aged man, Ben Stiller, he shows unexpected moments in this film. He rides his skate board, walks around the mountains, and looks around this world. How special is he? Please check yourself at the theaters.

For the scenes, the new generation comes. Recently, DSLR film makers take advantage of digital effects. In this film, similar ideas were used, and in some indications of some scenes are provided by the typographical expressions parented with the natural images. They visually appeal and cast for watchers. Also, the long time skateboarding scenes are preferred by documentary filmmakers. However, the aerial shots are enough to indicate the special occasion of Walter’s.

The director of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is by Ben Stiller who is also performed for Walter Mitty. Cheryl, Walter’s onside lover, is by Kristin Wiig who is known for “Bridesmades.” The new boss for Walter was by Adam Scott who is know for TV series “Parks & Recreation.” Sean, the mysterious photographer, is by Sean Penn who is known for “Milk” and “The Tree of Life.”

Usually, people like to have a mask and hide behind it. They have their words and the actual intentions. Walter’s mission that solves the secrets of the photographs is opposite of it. In this film, when Walter leaves the usual office life, he finally reveals his purpose of his past, present and future of LIFE.

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