Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn
Director: Ben Stiller
Running Time: 115 mins
The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty is an American film about an average middle-aged man who frequently finds himself wandering from real life. However, a turn in events at his job lead him to break out of his shell and embark on an incredible journey of self-discovery and adventure.
This is a film that shows promise at times throughout, thanks to its stunningly beautiful cinematography and score, as well as its largely positive vibe, however it really falls down due to its excessively cheesy plot that lacks in dramatic substance that would have made this a properly inspiring film.
For starters, there’s no escaping the wonder that you experience while looking at this film. Set amongst incredible backdrops all over the world, this is an absolute marvel to witness, with panoramas, brilliant visual effects and simply sublime cinematography to make you drool at the mouth.
What’s more is that the music behind it all is brilliant too. The powerful main score is the most inspiring and uplifting part of the entire film, whilst the collection of pop culture songs throughout, particularly David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’, which plays an individually important role in the emotion of the story.
Finally on the positive side of things, this is without doubt an uplifting film. Whether you’re truly convinced and grabbed by the story is irrelevant to whether you’ll enjoy watching this, because it is so upbeat throughout that it will easily bring a wide grin to your face, so that means that it is a film that you should watch if you need a good pick-me-up.
However, there is a major problem with the plot here. Apart from its extreme derivation from its original source material, the story tries so hard to be an inspiring and moving spectacle, and not just a pretty picture, however the lack of real substance, interesting character development and strong emotion means that it’s not such a captivating watch, and often feels more cheesy than you’d like.
Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig do good jobs in their principal roles here (save a little overacting), but their characters are so cartoonish and scripted, it feels impossible to really strongly empathise with them, and, seeing as that’s the main crux of the emotion in this film, that makes it all a lot less powerfully inspiring to watch.
Overall, this gets a 7.0 from me, because despite being a wonderful spectacle to look at, and having a strongly positive atmosphere, the almost one-dimensional emotion and cheesiness prevents this from being an impressively deep and inspiring film.