Friday, December 13, 2013

Movie Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

A few days before my wife and I went to see an advanced screening of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Thanks Tribute), I read the original James Thurber short story (published in 1939) and absolutely loved it. Honestly, if you’ve never checked out the short story before it is only six pages and is a delight to read.

On to the movie – first of all, it isn’t really a true retelling of the story, some characters have been changed (the original Walter is married) and the film, at just under two hours goes on much longer than the original story, which takes place over an afternoon shopping trip.

Secondly – I absolutely loved it.

First of all Ben Stiller is really great in this film. Over the years I’ve seen most of his film and television work (right back to his first appearance in an episode of Kate & Allie), and he fits into the character of Walter so completely he almost disappears. Walter begins the film as an incredibly quiet, soft-spoken man, drawing virtually no attention and living his life in his very active imagination. When forced by circumstance to step outside of his routine, however, we begin to see the vibrant person living inside, and I was shocked by how wonderfully Stiller shows this throughout the course of the film. The movie has a wonderful sense of humour and considering just how beautiful it is to look at and listen to (amazing soundtrack, by the way); it really comes off as a very personal character piece.

This may actually end up being one of my favourite films of the year, and I strongly recommend checking it out in theatres if you have the opportunity.

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