The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Review)

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” starring Ben Stiller, tells the story of a longtime magazine employee fighting to keep his job, as the magazine is on the verge of cutting many of its employees to usher in a new era in the magazine.

I’ve never seen the original movie, based on the Thurber short story, but I’ve read the story, and the modern version captures the spirit of the story well. Although, the modern version of the movie, in some respects, is different from the story as I remember it. In the story, I recall the main character, Walter Mitty, being a daydreamer pretty much throughout. In the movie, there is more character development with Mitty, played by Ben Stiller, I think. For instance, in the beginning, Mitty is one daydreaming machine, as he has wild dreams that include one of his female coworkers, Cheryl Melhoff, played by Kristen Wiig, also in danger of losing her job. But then, reality, for the story’s hero Mitty, becomes as fanciful as one of his dreams, as he faces challenges head-on that no ordinary person could ever face and come out of alive. But one can’t help and wonder if his perception of reality is impacted by his capacity to dream.

Stiller played the role of Mitty well, as the audience will see Mitty grow more confidence as the story progresses, as a result of his seemingly miraculous journey, and also possibly, because of all the e-Harmony winks, as well as the encouragement of his romantic interest, Melhoff. I was also amazed that such a seemingly ridiculous plotline stemming from a lost photographic negative could make for such a captivating, heartwarming, charming movie that audiences young and old could embrace.

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About Philip B.

I'm a recent MLS graduate seeking work as a youth services librarian in a public library. I especially enjoy organizing and presenting storytimes using my puppetry and storytelling skills. I love books, both print and electronic. I also enjoy art, music, theatre and baseball. One of my favorite summer activities is going to the NC mountains and exploring hiking trails.

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