Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Why I think "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" will be My Movie of the Year

Watch this and tell me you don't think this will be a good movie. Seriously.

I watch a lot of trailers and I am often excited by the potential of story. It is hard to really set up expectations and so far this year I have been quite bummed with the stream of movies I have seen so far that have not met them.

What I think makes this movie so different is we have know the track record of Ben Stiller. He is actually a good director. Tropic Thunder being one of his more popular examples as well as Zoolander. And I personally...loved the shit out of Tropic Thunder. We also need to consider the implications of such a message that is being conveyed through this trailer.

And that is...have you ever wanted to run away and be some one better? Have you ever wanted to just take off and go on an adventure and find your meaning and calling?

At least that is what I got out of it and its the basic slogan for every Improve Your Business/Life Pow Wow that ever existed.  The triumph of finding the strength within yourself and believing in you through the essence of dreaming is very powerful. I view this as a message that can be deeply touching and beautiful. I'm getting emotional just thinking about it. The scene where he is running past all the "Life" magazine covers is what really got me excited. I was rooting for Walter. RUN WALTER RUN! FLY HIGH! CATCH YOUR DREAMS!

Now the original story of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a short story crafted by James Thurber that was published in 1939 in The New Yorker. A movie version came out later in 1947 of the same name, however the story was drastically different and was not approved by Thurber himself.

After that a remake had spent much time in development hell with many actors passing in and out of the role. But I think they made a great choice with Stiller who's vision can really take this further. From the looks of it, this new movie is not going to be exactly representational of the original short either. I do hope it not only expands on Mitty's unfortunate day dreaming escapades, but also gives him more purpose and flare to what could potentially be a beautiful story of finding one's self through getting lost.

You can see it easily in the choice of style on how to dress Walt's character. Very reminiscent of a mild manner, plain man similar to Bryan Cranston's character in Breaking Bad. I noticed the colors are meant to be cold and almost black and white like his photographs he produces [in this film he is a mild-mannered photographic manager]. But the rest of the trailer uses brighter colors to signify a vibrancy of life. Even in all of this, there is a deep attention and colorization to his eyes and a gaze that believes in something greater than himself.

In the short story, Mitty had a wife that was quite controlling and seemingly worried about Walt's condition to day dream at all the wrong moments. Seeing that the movie has a love interest and a mother...I can only assume the mother will replace the role of the controlling wife. Leaving room open for him to develop a real connection with some one while discovering himself.

On top of this, "Dirty Paws" by Of Monsters and Men is the perfect pick for this trailer, giving a beautiful swathe of wonder and imagination that really embellishes the dreamy notes of this film. And unlike some trailer songs [I'm looking at you Sleigh Bells] the song is actually pretty damn enjoyable when you listen to it whole. It tends to hit a pretty emotional note for me being a person who is in transition to make my dreams a reality. Dirty Paws hits me very deep at the beauty of its simplicity and ability to take me away to another place.

If you are interested in reading the short story for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty...you can read it here: http://www.all-story.com/issues.cgi?action=show_story&story_id=100

So Ben...you have high expectations from me, my friend. While I think "The Butler" will be one of the few good movies I see this season, I'm counting on you to bring me to my emotional edge of deep and powerful story telling.

And for those of you who had no idea this movie existed I implore you to go see it this Christmas!

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