“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” was directed by Ben Stiller and he also played the main character – Walter Mitty. The secret of Walter: he had illusions – his life would pause; he would be stuck in his daydream and ignore everything around him. In his fantasy, he was a superhero, he had the courage to stand up to his boss, and Cheryl, a colleague he liked, would admire him. But as the daydream faded away, all these disappeared and he returned back to his real life. As a daydreamer, I can really relate to Walter – I occasionally will also let the imagination run wild and forget the reality for a while.
Walter was a negative assets manager at the Life magazine – developing photos from films. His job was threatened as Life was moving to on-line publishing. For the last issue of the magazine, a famous photographer – Sean O’Connell, recommended one of his photos as the magazine cover. But the problem was: Walter could not find the corresponding negative from the series that sent by Sean.
The interesting part of the movie is how Walter tried to locate Sean based on the remaining negatives. It was touching when Walter was hesitated whether to board the helicopter to find Sean, Cheryl suddenly appeared in his daydream singing “Space Oddity”, he got encouraged and jumped onto the helicopter in the last minute. He then started his real life adventure – swimming with shark, experiencing the volcano eruption in Iceland, watching the rare snow leopard, and playing soccer with locals in Himalayas.
Life can be simple. Walter kept releasing his baggage in the journey – with just a ski board and a backpack, he wandered around Iceland. As an adventurer, the joy is about the journey in chasing your dream, not the destination. Walter actually got the required negative from the beginning. But I better not to spoil here regarding where the negative was and what image was on it. As a whole, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is a charming and beautiful light comedy, you will feel good even it is not perfect – stop dreaming and start living.
Walter: So you’re just going to finish your beer and then fly a machine?
Helicopter Pilot: Yeah, I’m kind of nervous about the storm.
[Watching the snow leopard from a distance]
Sean: They call the snow leopard the ghost cat. Never lets itself be seen.
Walter: Ghost cat.
Sean: Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.
Walter: When are you going to take it (the photo)?
Sean: Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.
Walter: Stay in it?
Sean: Yeah. Right there. Right here.
Walter: To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.
Cheryl: Life is about courage and going into the unknown.