In one of the latest word-to-screen adaptations, viewers follow the relatable schmuck that is Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller). Originally a short story by James Thurber, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty tells the inspiring narrative of a longtime negative asset manager at Life magazine.
Mitty is entrusted to handle the cover photo of their last print issue while virtually everyone and everything around him is replaced with the comings of the web transition. When the negative goes missing, Mitty goes around the world searching for the photographer, Sean O’Conner (Sean Penn).
Walter Mitty is studded with comedic geniuses, most notably Ben Stiller, and Kristen Wiig of Zoolander (2001) and SNL fame, respectively. However, this film is mostly an action-drama that can maneuver into any genre with its poignant backstory of a man who never lost his sense of imagination. With just the perfect touch of comedy in a short but classic Curious Case of Benjamin Button parody, it doesn’t leave viewers longing for more or less in the glee department.
A shoutout to Stuart Dryburgh, cinematographer, and Theodore Shapiro, musical composer, is in order. The breathtaking, wide-angle shots of a volcanic eruption paired with the intimate, orchestral score created the perfect harmony. Stiller also directed the adventure-drama, a surprising addition to his resume.
Critics have remarked that the film is relatively anticlimactic, which holds some validity. Yes, a good chunk of it is just Stiller trekking the breathtaking, Icelandic countryside on a longboard, but this does not make the film not worth watching. In fact, I find it refreshing that a film doesn’t have a discernible highpoint, as it leaves the viewer contemplative and appreciative of the smaller moments.