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THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY Trailer is for Dreamers

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A new trailer was recently released for an upcoming movie directed by and starring actor Ben Stiller. Based on James Thurber’s well-known 1939 short story by the same name, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty tells the story of a Life Magazine employee who is constantly daydreaming. The film and story alike follow protagonist Walter Mitty, played by Ben Stiller, as he embarks on an international expedition to find a missing picture for the last issue of the magazine.

The Backstory

In the beginning of the trailer, Stiller’s character is introduced as the protagonist: a boring businessman who has not “been anywhere” or “done anything” interesting his entire life; the type of person who likely spends the majority of his time using accounting software at work rather than enjoying life at home. From there, viewers are shown a clip where Mitty’s boss reveals that they have chosen a particular photograph as the cover of the last issue of Life. In the following clip, Stiller’s character reveals that the negative for the picture is missing. Afterwards, the trailer jumps to a scene where Stiller discovers an unused travel journal that his father had left him. At this point, 1 minute into the trailer, all major background is covered, including a glance at Mitty’s love interest, Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig), through a single shot focused directly on her.

The Adventure

Once the backstory is presented, the trailer pushes forth into the part of the film that makes it so interesting. As Mitty stares off at his crush, you begin to see events not as they actually happen, but as he daydreams them. This is evident by the sudden disappearance of a wall as a mountain climber steps off an icy hilltop and into their office building.

With encouragement from Cheryl and his family, Mitty decides to embark on an adventure to finish his partner’s work and take the cover photograph for the last issue of Life. And like the clip of him running and jumping onto a plane as it is taking off while Cheryl watches from the runway with a guitar in hand, the clips that follow show Stiller’s character undergoing the most amazing and exotic experiences one could imagine.

First, Mitty jumps off the plane into an ocean with sharks all around. Then, he’s shown trekking through a desert of snow during a blizzard, with ice falling all around him as he goes on to climb a mountain. Further clips show waterfalls, stunning landscapes, exotic peoples and the protagonist jumping out of a window with his boss clutched protectively in his arms. We even see Stiller riding on some sort of surfboard-esque craft through city streets.

With the title and the magazine both emphasizing the word “life”, the trailer makes it seem like this is the sort of movie that will give viewers a warm, happy feeling as they are given the inspirational message to live life to its fullest. Furthermore, traveling the world is a common means of illustrating that exact teaching.

However, the protagonist is portrayed as a dreamer who has never done anything, and because the scenes that conclude the trailer seem almost too unbelievable to be true, there is the possibility that much of what is portrayed is just in Mitty’s mind. It reminds me a little bit of The Science of Sleep. He might not even set out to travel the world at all. It will definitely be interesting to see what is truth and what is fiction when the film is finally released this Christmas. But either way, this movie shows great promise and might possibly be Ben Stiller’s best role yet.

 

 

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The Author

Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington is a writer, reporter, blogger, and movie-geek. He currently lives in PA and with his wife and son, writing about movies and beyond. Follow Scott at @SMHuntington or check out his blog, blogspike.com