Wondering about the what ifs and daydreaming about what your life could be? Say no more and embark on a journey with Walter Mitty.
by Julia Migné
Daydreaming his life more than he is actually living it, Walter Mitty is one of these shy, introvert guys who always seem to have their heads in the clouds. Working for Life magazine, Walter is a negative assets manager who spends his days dreaming about the epic adventures he could be living instead of sitting in front of a desk day in and day out.
“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That’s the purpose of life.” Life magazine’s motto
Trying to fill his online eHarmony dating profile to attempt to seduce his co-worker Cheryl, he struggles to find anything interesting about him. “I haven’t really been anywhere noteworthy or mentionable,” he says. However, when the magazine announces that the next issue will be the last, the life of Walter takes an unexpected, dramatic turn.
Having lost the negative of the picture selected to be on the cover, Walter decides to swap the daydreams for some real life adventures and heads to Greenland to find Sean O’Connell, the photojournalist behind the important picture.
“Life is about courage and going into the unknown.” – Cheryl
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty takes its main character on an incredible journey from shark attacks in Greenland to a volcanic eruption in Iceland. Stuck in his daydreams, the seemingly boring Walter finally takes control of his own life and jumps in the unknown, going as far as skating his way through Iceland and climbing the Himalayas.
Walter reminds us of the importance of doing instead of dreaming. He is a living reminder of how easy it is to fall in a routine and to get engulfed in the everyday life that we get paralysed by daydreams. Sometimes, the only way to move forward is to actually move, to take action, and to take that leap of faith.
Taking the viewers through gorgeous landscapes and breathtaking adventures, the film celebrates the travellers and explorers and can trigger some serious wanderlust. But somehow it also reminds them that sometimes the simple things are the most important and that the only way to realise that truth is to be present, living in the moment.
“I pictured you as this little grey piece of paper, but now I see you and it’s like Indiana Jones decided to become the lead singer of The Strokes or something.” – Todd Maher, eHarmony’s representative
This life philosophy is embedded in what Sean tells Walter when they are both observing the elusive snow leopard in the Himalayas; “Sometimes I don’t [take a picture]. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.”
There is definitely some beauty and poetry in the transformation of Walter Mitty and the film directed and starred by Ben Stiller is an ode to change and to purposeful actions. An uplifting film that forces one to self-reflect, it’s the perfect watch to get filled with inspiration and self-confidence.
If you’re feeling stuck, incapable of taking action, it might be time to adopt Walter’s new life motto: “I just live by the ABCs: Adventurous, Brave, Creative.” Sometimes all you have to do is give it a try and who knows, you might be able to get out of that rigid office cubicle and end up jumping from a helicopter and skating towards an erupted Icelandic volcano.