Originally released in theaters on Christmas day 2013, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is now available to own on DVD and Blu-Ray. In theaters, the movie performed less than expected yet audiences now get the chance to bring it home and see what they might have missed.
Based on the short story from 1939 by James Thurber, the movie tells the story of Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) a negative assets manager (photograrphy) for Life magazine, who frequently drifts away in his mind to more adventurous and dangerous experiences. Print media is dying and Life magazine will only make one final print publication. Photographer Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn) has sent a roll of film with a particular negative for the cover. When Mitty realizes that this image is missing, he goes on the real life journey of a lifetime to locate this missing print.
Ben Stiller takes on not only starring duties for this movie but also directing. After investigation, this movie is a remake of the 1947 movie of the same name. Apparently this most recent adapting, takes plot liberties, although that may have been due to overall production and modernization. Stiller does a brilliant job on this movie in all aspects. The quality of the movie visually is stunning and creates the perfect action sequences when Mitty drifts away into his daydreams.
Stiller’s transformation in the role of Mitty from shy stays in the shadows and does what he is told to bold, determined adventurer is quite a story to watch. Mitty takes on incredible odds both personally and professionally. His co-worker crush Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig) is a soft spoken yet quiet cheerleader on the side to Mitty as she encourages him to break free of his fears and do what it takes to get the job done.
Wiig is a perfect complement to Stiller with the same shyness as the Mitty character and her tender nature draws the audience into her corner. We cheer on both Mitty on his journey as well as these two on their relationship journey of the will they or won’t they. This romantic sub-plot allows for both the most tender and comedic moments of the movie. Audiences always wants to see the "hero" of the story end up getting the girl, and this movie is no different.
Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott) is the detestable corporate transition manager who comes in to complete the final magazine publication and decide who will or won’t stay once the transitions to online is complete. Hendricks is a formidable foe for Mitty. Hendricks creates the perfect criteria to ensure that Mitty takes that leap from fantasy to reality and truly begins to live his life. Nothing will create chaos and ambition quite like the deadline of a newspaper or magazine.
Regardless of liberties taken for this movie from the original story, it truly is an inspiration that stirs in all of us the desire to chase our dreams. Mitty is not only beckoned by O’Connell in the movie to go out and chase down that lost negative, but it calls to all of us to get up and take action. Our dreams do not come to us, so we must take calculated actions in order to achieve the things that we want. If you missed your chance to this touching and heartwarming movie in theaters, be sure to stop by wherever DVD’s or Blu-Rays are sold and get your copy now.