Sunday, January 05, 2014

Good to meet you, Walter Mitty

Not sure why I have/had a more or less snobbish attitude towards american comedy (that statement doesn't hold true in the case of rom coms, which I rather enjoy watching with my sisters). Thinking about it, I reach the conclusion that I was rather dragged to different genres of movies as a result of my hanging out with not exactly the members of humour appreciation society. On my way to change this (sounds like a good new year's resolution, doesn't it?), the first movie for 2014 has been high spirited one, almost a comedy (but not quite).

A lot has been written on Walter Mitty. They called it mediocre, they called it bad, as well as "the oddest film of the season" -film critics can be mean, when they are let down. But, I also saw Mitty in a list with the 50 best films of the year. The film opened on Christmas day in States and it definitely has some charm, even if it falls short  of fully adhering to a genre. It's classified as both drama and adventure on IMDB. It's classified as comedy, too. Based on a famous (American-literature-wise) short story by James Thurber, the Secret Life of Walter Mitty has had  an earlier version of its main character in flesh and bones in the 1947 adaptation.

The film may be narcissistic and all that -it's a trap one can rarely escape, when directing and starring in the same film like Ben Stiller does here; but it's also funny and sweet and tender. It may have nothing new to offer, it may be highly unrealistic in its portrayal of a dull Life's employer who is fantasising most of the time, instead of taking action, until he becomes almost a superhero, but it's more than a decent film. Personally, I found it had a good pace, some very funny moments and good acting. It could draw me into it, which is a factor to be taken into consideration. But, who knows, maybe that was only because I am a Walter Mitty of sorts.

The cameo appearance of Sean Penn (who is goddam great and hopefully not violent any more) and Mitty's mum played by Shirley McLane and the neat soundtrack worth a mention. Ah, and that girl from Bridesmaids (2011), Kristen Wiig. Ah, and her song, Major Tom -which is Space Oddity by David Bowie- but you get the point. Pretty cool things.

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