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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: Movie Review


"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is a film that takes it time to sell its message. At times, it may feel a little bit too long and even a little bit on the shallow end of things. And definitely for some, it will test your mettle as our lead character seemingly bungles his way to one adventure to another and the narrative not keeping up to pace. But what really stood out is its ending - one that encapsulates what this whole 114 minute film is all about.

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is the Negative Assets Manager of Life magazine. While on the day of his birthday, Walter finds out that Life magazine has just been sold and will be printing out its last cover. The cover will feature a photo from photojournalist Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn) whom Walter has been processing photos for since he started his career in Life. Unfortunately, the Negative 25 is missing, the exact negative that Sean requested be featured as the last cover and which he described as the "quintesesence of life". Walter, a prolific daydreamer, soon decides to go out of his comfort zone in search of the missing negative and with that decision finally takes action in the real world embarking on a journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" tries to be inspirational and be profound and at times, it doesn't feel like it. The narrative itself was simple in nature but the endless situations our lead finds himself in is way more complicated. This disjointedness makes the whole thing feel a little long and unnecessary at some stretches. The end result though, of course, is a complete success as the surprise ending just saves the whole film and completely caps off what this whole thing was all about. Acting-wise, Ben Stiller was great but the supporting cast was just okay. And if you expected lots of laughs from this film, you may be left disappointed, as its more serious than comedy honestly. But it did have its moments like the Benjamin Button parody scene. The film's best assets would be its beautiful cinematography and, do we need to say it again, the ending. Overall, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" had an inspiring message to tell - it's just not as straightforward or easily grabbed than we are used to.

Rating: 4 reels





Why you should watch it:
- the ending is a must see

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the film did tend to feel long at times
- it short story roots might have affected how this film's narrative feels a little on the slow side

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