When was the last time you attempted something for the first time? Just like me and you, this world is full of individuals who freeze while making a move for something that we desire whole-heartedly. All of us know that taking the first step is the hardest and most difficult one. But moving past our insecurities and acting in the moment can evaporate all our dreamt fears. The underrated Hollywood film ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ beautifully explains the catharsis of life in a simple yet compelling way.
Mundane life of an ordinary guy
In 2013, American actor and filmmaker Ben Stiller came up with a jolting movie ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’. Encompassing a complete package, the movie nicely blended humour, real life lessons and a soothing love story.
Hollywood stars Sean Penn, Kristen Wiig and Kathryn Hahn have also enriched the movie with their flawless acting. The film is the second cinematic adaptation of James Thurber’s old story of the same name. Earlier, it got its cinematic release in the year 1947.
The Hollywood movie revolves around Walter Mitty, an escapist and a chronic daydreamer. He is a negative asset manager at a magazine company called ‘LIFE’. He is an ordinary guy who is living a tedious life. Walter has given a good 16 years for the company in cubicles while missing out on the beauty of life. Basically, he is one of those guys for whom the term, ‘Get a life’ would have been coined.
The protagonist Walter has a crush on his office colleague Cheryl Melhoff. But he fails to muster courage to approach her in person. However, his life has been so dull that he fails to complete the requirements for the online dating site, ‘eHarmony’, through which Mitty tries to connect with Cheryl.
But things take a sharp turn when the magazine company changes ownership and prepares for its last printed edition before completely going digital. Mitty is the sole liaison between the magazine and freelance photojournalist Sean O’Connell. Somehow, Sean’s pick for the magazine’s covers goes missing. In the attempt to find the missing picture, Mitty undergoes a complete transformation, shuns his comfort zone and goes on an amazing life changing journey.
Lessons from the The Secret Life of Walter Mitty film
Through the transformation of boring and escapist Walter Mitty, Ben Stiller has marvellously invited our attention to the escapist tendency of humans. Many times, the fear of loss and unplanned scenarios paralyse our responses and we quickly give up.
We waste time in imagining fictional pictures where we act the way we fail to do in reality. Notably, the Hollywood movie emphasises on the need to act and courageously fight our insecurities. It appeals to the global audiences to broaden their horizon and go beyond their comfort zone.
Evidently, the philosophy of life and cherishing the present has been emphasised on multiple counts. Be it the acts of photojournalist Sean or the transformed Walter Mitty or the motto of the company ‘LIFE’ which was also inscribed on Sean’s gifted wallet to Walter Mitty.
The film whole-heartedly vindicates the fact that even one act or event is enough to turn life on its head. It is possible for everyone to shun mundane activities and act on things they aspire to but fail to achieve on account of their own created fears. Living life to its fullest as if each day is our last, gives a whole new perspective after which wasting time or procrastination will not be an option at all. Life is an experience and we should be living it rather than suffering through it.
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