The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Photo: I'm off to the Barn movie theater to see the classic remake The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty with my very creative friend Edie Weinstein.

 

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That this is the purpose of ‘Life’” -credo of Life Magazine

These are the words stenciled across a wall in the office of Life Magazine, where the title character, Walter Mitty is employed as a ‘negative asset manager’.  The term refers to photo negatives, but it could just as easily apply to his own opinion of himself in the remake of the Danny Kaye classic from 1947, based on the James Thurber story about a man with what I refer to as a ‘rich inner life’. In this version, a likeable Ben Stiller is often at a loss to express verbally what is in his heart or on his mind. He gets distracted in thought,  seeing himself as an action hero,  rather than live in here and now reality, since it is far more fascinating.

His world is black and white (again an allusion to the dichotomy between his imagination and waking reality) as the streets on which he walks, the building in which he works  and the home in which he lives, are begging for color to be splashed on them.

As the movie begins, he is sitting in a remarkably linear, organized, almost sterile apartment, figuring out his elderly mother’s budget since she is to be moving to an apartment in a senior community.  Mom is played by a wise and beautifully aging Shirley MacLaine who becomes a link in the chain of events and a mystery that Mitty needs to solve. He then switches from mind-mode to heart-mode as he taps into a dating web site to send a ‘wink’ to a woman who appeals to him. He hesitates at first, afraid to take the bold step to connect with her in cyber space. The saddest part is that he does know her in the face to face world, since she is a colleague who he sees at work daily and fantasizes about sweeping her off her feet in various and sundry ways. Saturday Night Live cast member Kristen Wiig plays the lovely Cheryl who joins Mitty on a quest to find a missing photo negative sent to him by ‘legendary’ photographer Sean O’Connell played by a weathered looking Sean Penn. This icon values his long time professional relationship with Mitty and entrusts him with the photo that is to appear on the final paper version cover of Life, since the magazine is about to go on-line. Its whereabouts send him to Greenland, Iceland, Afghanistan, LA and back to NY in search of this ‘holy grail’. Comic relief shows up throughout the film in the form of Todd who works for the dating website and encourages Mitty to spice up his profile.

Without giving away the rest of the story, Mitty embarks on the Hero’s Journey-experiencing a call to action, traveling way beyond his comfort zones (Mom provides him with some insight into why this former skateboarder who sported a Mohawk in his teens has become so emotionally challenged), facing his dragons (one a bearded bully of a boss), immersing in his fears and coming back with a trophy in the form of a skateboard, returning to himself and discovering the purpose of his own life.

 



  • Ruth Anne Wood

    It was a joy to sit next to you in the theater as we both took in such story splendor… and then read your spot on depiction of a movie I’ve savor for a long time.

  • http://www.liveinjoy.org Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW

    Thank you, Ruth for the treat of the movie(: Hope I wasn’t obnoxious whispering comments. Mostly it was so I could remember details since I couldn’t take notes in the theater. <3

Previous Posts

Heaven On Earth
    "Imagine, will you....Heaven On Earth For Real." These are the words that are on my friend Tambra Harck's Facebook page. I think about it a lot since I believe that we create our own vision/version in our vivid imaginations. One of my favorite songs on the topic, sung by Ma

posted 9:47:47pm Aug. 26, 2014 | read full post »

With An Open Hand
  When you consider all of the things that you desire; from relationships to abundance, from faith to freedom, from possessions to passion, how do you hold them?  What I mean by that is this:  do you hold them with a closed fist; grasping, clinging as if for dear life or can you let go a b

posted 9:07:21pm Aug. 25, 2014 | read full post »

The Art of Surrender
On Saturday, I began my day in retrospective musing. Listening to Ellis Paul singing Dragonfly  on Sleepy Hollow  to greet the sun. Was reading earlier entries down my time line on Facebook and marveled at how far I have come since everything changed with the 'cardiac event' on June 12th. It was o

posted 10:31:49am Aug. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Disney Daring
  I am no longer a Disneyland virgin. Yesterday was my very first day in "The Happiest Place on Earth".  Earned my ears (although I didn't buy any(: Went on Soarin' Over California, Monsters, Inc, and then to earn street cred, had to up the amps and do California Scream, then Cars, then Thu

posted 11:02:37am Aug. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Dog Poop
Today at a staff meeting for my talented team of co-workers at my new job for Elements Behavioral Health, our CEO- Dr. David  Sack did a dazzling presentation, complete with Power Point. The topic?  Dog poop. He shared the story of the family four-legged, named Charlie who is a basset hound. He wa

posted 12:48:27am Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.