"The Jill Come Lately and Jimmy Crack Corn and I don't care" reviewer strikes again:
This film is for all the underdog and
top dog fans of Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and all the
closet and accomplished adventurers combined.
The beginning is about the humdrum life
of Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) who we find out later as one destined
to have adventure but was sadly piled into a cookie cutter life of
safe living and responsibility due to his father's death. At the
point where we find him, his adventures and derring-do are only
limited to elaborate daydreams referred to as “zoning out” which
sadly, lands him the role of “office idiot”. Unfulfilled and
forty two, Walter is relegated to the negative photos section of LIFE
magazine. Walter is even unable to muster a plain “hello” to the
object of his affection Sheryl Melhoff played by the capable Kristine
Through his years of work and routine,
he dedicatedly brings pictures of an elusive photographer - Sean
O'Connell (played by a Bono-channeling Sean Penn), to the covers.
Lending to the current day's relevancy, the iconic magazine is now
losing print value and thus will be ushered to the electronic age.
To ensure this transition, enter, the jerk-designee of the movie,
Ted Hendricks, played by Adam Scott who is so good at making things downcast for Walter. Events ensue when for the last
print cover of the magazine, a negative of a photo (no. 25) is
nowhere to be found and it is up to Walter Mitty to get this
As pressure mounts to produce said
photo, Walter uncharacteristically leaps on to a quest to find the
photographer which will lead him to the negative. With one plane
ride, the whole world dramatically opens up for him and his reveries
With Ben Stiller at the helm, his
signature is visible in this film, it has the tendency of being noir,
but the core message is romantic and positive. The pastiche of the
written word mixed with the visuals is clever and pays homage to the advent of
subliminal messaging. The entire film declares that that creative
force named Ben Stiller we found early in his career is alive and
well, when he allows it.
How this film speaks is the way that it
strikes a chord on us ordinary people and the possibility of
something awe-inspiring taking place even just once in our lives.
Whoever we may be, whether living in New York City or Tacloban City,
single or married, personable or paltry, we are prone to sticking to
our safe zones because we are such creatures of habits and comforts
and before long, we have created and trapped ourselves inside our own
The movie dazzles with the sites of the
vast tundras of Iceland and Greenland, boisterous waves of a sea in
the Arctic and Great White sharks. When placed in perilous
circumstances, Walter is very “in the moment,” brimming with
adrenalin and taps into one of his childhood skills, namely
skateboarding, to get to the objective. With that, I was reminded of
that booklet by Robert Fulghum, “Everything I Need to Know, I
Learned in Kindergarten.”
When Walter finally comes to the figurative and literal summit of it all, namely the Afghan Himalayas, a golden nugget is obtained. The slippery photographer is found at last and when he resists taking an ethereal money shot of a snow leopard in exchange for just being there, it teaches us that adventure does not mainly constitute its corybantic nature, but rather, it is completed when one enjoys the stillness as well. The sequence of the two of them playing soccer with the Himalayan natives towards the sunset also wins with the message that there is joy when humans are interconnected with a common ground.
The whole movie is symbolic that if we let go of the trappings commonly deemed as important by everyone else in lieu of indelible memories to keep, we become fulfilled.
Walter Mitty is ***** for me, despite
what everyone else says. Capice?
Things are getting back to normal in Tacloban. Taclobanons are doing their best to rebuild, though tent cities are still prevalent, I am told. But truly, after the rain will come sunshine as long as there is life.
Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda destroyed my city - Tacloban City, Philippines, by now, you perhaps have been inundated of the horrific photos in the major news outfits.
I could not function in the first few days until I heard from my immediate family - they are safe but has to leave the city as it's not livable at this time. It made me want to be there with them come hell or high water (no pun intended this time).
I am grieving for my hometown, for the loss of life, homes, basic necessities, food, water and medicine. This was unexpected.To make matters worse, the relief aid did not arrive to the people intended until the 7th day and up to now, there is still scarcity in the remote areas because of the backward mentality of the self serving, shameless politicians.
Occasional reports say that my fellow Leyteños are trying to have a semblance of life but there is still many to be done, from the clean up, burying the dead, more food and water, rebuilding of their homes and the continuation of their lives. I was thankful for the tremendous response from the International Community, countries, private organizations and individuals who stepped up and stood in the gap, Kudos! and Salamat.
I will not be reluctant in asking for donations on behalf of my fellow Leyteños because the need will outweigh the resources. If you are inclined please donate to: