I was a little excited when I walked into the theater for the movie. Firstly it’s because of Ben Stiller, an actor with pretty solid portfolios (most of which that I love), and secondly it’s the theme of the story. Some say the movie is like the modern Forrest Gump, and who doesn’t love that story? An ordinary person (so ordinary we even think that we’re better) experiencing some changes in life and going through an extraordinary adventure. We always want to know how the story turns out, hoping to find something heroic and brave, thing that we can redirect our dreams to. That’s the sort of expectation I had walking into the theater.
I’m not gonna say I’m disappointed to find out that the movie tells a way simpler story. There’s nothing very dramatic in there. Most of the exciting scenes you saw on trailer were only happening in the head of Walter Mitty when he zoned out (which he frequently did). The movie takes a more natural approach, it’s almost like Walter was caught up in the ‘adventure’ without he really wanting to be a part of it. But it’s not lame at all this way, I find myself enjoy the story a lot more than what I expected earlier. Because in real life, we are all cowards (*cough*). We are always intimidated by every decision we make. Of course we know we can create our own adventures, and forget about all other things that were important. But the reality is, we never have the courage to take the step. And I think this movie has ingeniously magnified the state of mentality we’re dealing with when making decisions. (I personally love the scene where Walter imagined Cheryl singing “Space Oddity” when he was struggling whether or not to hop on to the helicopter, which actually marked the start of his adventure.)
Although telling a rather simple story, the screenplay and movie directing did manage to make the entire experience quite enjoyable. It’s very Ben Stiller, with the comedic humour in it, and I find it very entertaining. The last scene where the magazine cover was revealed has also teared me up a little bit. It’s like telling people that being ordinary does not make you less valuable. You are in fact a big part of something awesome and you just don’t know it yet. It’s a very modestly and beautifully done ending.
A 4.5 star movie for me.