SPOILER ALERT !!!! (If you haven’t seen them movie then this probably isn’t for you)
Anyways for my birthday I was able to see “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” courtesy of a benevolent benefactor. Going into them movie theater I had no idea what to think let alone what to expect. I knew what the general premise of the movie was. However, I had heard differing opinions on the movie and in any case I decided to do what I always do best when watching a movie that divides the lines, I shut out the rest and just tried to soberly assess it and watch it as a movie goer.
Now, for the most part I’d say this works most the time for me however, I can tell you that Walter Mitty is not only good … no its not just great … it is amazing. And I mean that in the truest form of Walter Mitty’s melancholic turn to the retelling of Thurber’s old short story. While those who enjoyed the original story or better yet Danny Kaye‘s version a bit you will be surprised and delighted to know that this story is nothing like it at all.
So one must ask, what is it I see in this movie that makes it so great if there are quite a few of dissenters amongst the film critic ranks against this movie.
Well I can tell you one thing I’ve never seen a movie that appreciates so greatly the little things in life or better yet a case of great melancholic humor and real authenticity I think many people, including myself, truly are hungry for in a movie. More than not I’m used to quick gags and the typical comedic fanfare over the top typical things I’d see in movies with Zach Galafinakis, Will Farrell, Steve Carell, Seth Rogan, and Jonah Hill. They while flashing in and instant can start a fire. But usually after a few minutes with the end of the movie they carry over into spuzzling fireworks and fizzle out. They’re hilarity is equally matched by the manner in which they are delivered: quick to the point and very quickly usually forgotten.
Walter Mitty is a different sort of breed of movie though one that doesn’t always come along. More than anything its about someone who realizes that they really are doing something with their lives that is amazing even if it is just in the background unnoticed and unappreciated all a great deal by a lot of people on the surface. Coming from the background that I enjoy working in the art world and in the Graphic Design business often the work of the creator or the middleman is unappreciated. Its forgotten under the wraps and lost in the fanfare of the final product. None more so true that in the painters, crafters, photographers, and film workers that float into my sphere of artistry on a numerous occasion. They’re silence and hard work to their passion speaks more to them than anything else and Walter Mitty pays homage to that.
The digitalization of Walter’s job in the movie is interesting as well as it directly (time wise) corresponds to the same discussions I’ve had over my field of Graphic Design as well. Back in the old days of yore it used to be that the job I’m looking to do someday took up several people. Now it can usually be fulfilled by only a couple or sometimes one person. Its creative destruction of the ever moving forward market and Walter Mitty touches upon this beautifully in more ways than one. But more than anything if I could say one thing about Walter Mitty that makes it special is that it sticks to the melancholic tone that is often forget just like Walter and just like its premise sometimes more isn’t always more … sometimes less is more and in Walter Mitty the story is told not necessarily by what is happening but what works its way out of the woodwork of what is untold and left out.
P.S. – On a last note if you have any time at all this Christmas go see this movie. Not that it will spawn a sequel or even better yet cash in a ton of money but because I believe in this movie and want to see more like it. Hollywood is always gun-shy about financing movie likes this that are amazing yet not necessarily for everyone because of their more serious and earnest tones and necessarily as attractive. If anything go to see the movie so you can look at some gorgeous landscape for a while.
By the way tell me what you think