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MOVIE REVIEW: The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

| 10 January 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty
Directed by Ben Stiller
Starring Ben Stiller, Sean Penn, Kristen Wiig
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
8/10

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty Movie

Ben Stiller’s Walter Mitty is a shy, bullied nobody plodding away in the basement of Life Magazine, unappreciated by anyone much other than his Mum, played charmingly by Shirley MacLaine.

Blessed with a fervent imagination but no courage whatsoever to speak of, Mitty is having a career crisis to match his uber-bland personal void as the magazine is downsized ready for conversion to a digital only format.

Mitty gets through the day to day drudgery of his mundane life by daydreaming in a big way – and I mean REALLY big, zoning out completely from his real-life conversations, which only give his detractors more fuel for their fire.

In contrast with Danny Kaye’s 1947 portrayal of Mitty, Stiller’s Mitty uses his mega crush on Kristen Wiig’s Cheryl as the impetus to turn his life around when a supposedly iconic negative from Sean Penn’s ultra-famous photographer Sean O’Connell goes missing.

Mitty’s search for the negative brings him closer to reality by, ironically, plunging him into a larger than life world that is fantasy to most, and maybe, just maybe, the risks he starts taking awaken his spirit and mind to what is truly possible if you take a chance.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty is a wonderfully realised film that blends some radical CGI fantasy dream sequences with equally astonishing and striking natural cinematography, giving us the best of both cutting edge and traditional film-making.

It’s a brilliantly realised ode to the soul and certainly Stiller’s finest work behind or in front of the camera to date. Mitty’s journey of discovery serves to remind us all not only of the magic and mystery that any of us can experience in our imagination at any time of the day or night, but also that there are even more wonders to be found in the real world, if only we believe in love and a lust for life, and let go.

Shane

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