Last night I went to see "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty". I didn't expect something outstanding that night - to be honest - I just wanted to be entertained a bit, to forget the stressful week. But with it's beautiful cinematography and the smart and very careful creation of the character by Ben Stiller Mitty won my over after 10 minutes.
Telling the story of a typical underachiever, who is never living up to his dreams Mitty is a perfect example for the american way of life, who demands from everyone to aim high to fulfill their dreams. But somehow - instead of working on his dreams - Mitty spents his life imagining the adventures he could go on if he ever would dare to start the journey. Instead of going out and doing something Mitty stays in the place where he accidently ended up many years ago, in the dark photography department of TIME LIFE magazine looking at other peoples adventures day by day.
No need to say that Mittys life is soon turned upside down. In a way this is the classic Hollywood story but somehow Ben Stiller manages it to make Mittys transformation not cheesy at all. This might have something to do, with the great camera work. It is overwhelming how much time Stiller takes for certain shots, and how beautiful he captures the moments when Mitty is in the middle of nowhere in iceland or somewhere in the Himalays. He gives the characters so much space to develop that you really get the chance of feeling close to them.
One thing that makes the movie very special is the very careful and well chosen soundtrack with bands like Junip, Of Monsters and Men or Bryan Adams it offers a great musical choice. It not quite reaches up to the quality of an “Into the Wilde"-Soundtrack but still shows great taste. The most beautiful song that captured the feeling of the film the best for me is “Stay Alive” by José Gonzalez. This songs is such a great metaphor for the Mitty that is in all of us. Sometimes life is just easier if you imagine things instead of doing them, but it’s important to remember that it is always worth trying. “There's a rhythm in rush these days / Where the lights don't move and the colors don't fade / Leaves you empty with nothing but dreams in a world gone shallow in a world gone lean (…) But there is a truht and it’s on our side.”