Customer Review

88 of 106 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take the design aesthetics of the past 80 years and put them in a blender, January 22, 2014
This review is from: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (DVD)
I feel compelled to write this down because after a few internet searches I'm beginning to think I am the only one who gets this aspect of the movie or is the only one who cares. The whole thing takes all the design of the past eighty years and puts them into a blender, and I love it. The Life office headquarters look out of the '60s. The color scheme is black/ white/ beige/ powder blue. The lights are very bright and white. Again I want to say '60s. The clothes they wear aren't blatantly retro, but definitely classic and therefore timeless. I guess it's a testament to how incredibly boring office fashion is.

Walter Mitty works with photo negatives. (In reality his job would have been cut at least ten years ago.) The equipment he uses looks fifty years old. Lots of chrome. Very art deco. The original story was written in 1939, I believe. Walter and his assistant, when they're in the basement wearing what they're wearing, saying what they're saying, and doing what they're doing.... they could BE in 1939 and nothing would need to be changed. Not even their outfits.

Walter Mitty spaces out and he gets David Bowie (popular musical artist of the 70s who is obsessed with outer space) quoted at him: "Ground Control to Major Tom." The song makes a later appearance, which I also loved.

His love interest's son is obsessed with skate boarding. Now I know there is a healthy skate board culture out there right now in 2014, especially in a big city. However, it also calls back to the '70s and the '80s when it was waaaaaaaaaaaaay more popular.

Walter's sister is an aspiring actress and she's involved in a local theatre production of Grease, a musical written (and popular) in the '70s but set in the '50s.

The street outside his love interest's house is lined with gas guzzlers from the 1970s at the earliest. Really cool cars, but there's no way anyone in that neighborhood is driving one of those cars in 2013. But it definitely gives a more working class vibe than yuppie, which I think is what they were going for.

There is a scene with a volcano and a plane that reminded me of the 1930s because of the style of the plane. Very Charles Lindberg and Amelia Earhart.

All that, and yet we KNOW that this movie is set in modern times because of eharmony, Cinnabon and iphones. That's really your only clue. Other than that it's completely timeless. And I really love that about it.

And the very end of the movie plays with smart phone culture a little bit. The whole movie plot is about finding this famous photographer who is an adventurous Ernest Hemingway type (another throwback to another time), and when he finally finds him in the mountains, Walter is talking on his mobile with the eharmony help desk guy.

"Buddy, do you mind? I'm working here," says the photographer played by Sean Penn. But in his mind he's thinking "Jesus. I can't ever escape these people!" And this guy is the biggest anachronism of all. He shoots in 35mm film. He doesn't have a mobile anything. He doesn't have a home address or even a bank account to direct deposit a paycheck into. He would have done very well in Hemingway's day. But Walter apologizes and they have a talk that ends up being a critique of modern life.

These days people can't even sit down to dinner without taking a picture of their food and broadcasting it over the internet. This guy is a professional photographer, always looking for beauty, and although he doesn't say "You people and your GD smart phones" he does talk a little about the perils of living life behind a viewfinder. Most of us don't daydream quite like Walter Mitty, but all of us should be able to relate to the need to put the GD phone DOWN.

Perhaps I am the only one who read it that way because I recently turned in my smart phone for a dumb one. To me it's just been an incredibly costly distraction.

Anyway. Bottom line. I loved this movie. I also know a little something about trading in your fun-loving youth to shoulder responsibility a little earlier than your peers, like Walter did. Anyone else who did too would probably love this movie as much as I did. I will be purchasing it in HD on Amazon on Demand as soon as it's available.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 18, 2014 10:53:26 AM PST
C. Vitek says:
Thank you for your in-depth review of the design aspects! I loved-loved-loved the movie as well, but didn't notice several of these things on first viewing. I'm hoping to catch it again before it leaves the second-run theaters and then will be buying the blu-ray. I'll be watching it with eyes open for these things. Thanks again! :)

Posted on Mar 7, 2014 12:54:49 AM PST
This is a great review - I was put off by the critics and never had time to see it anyway when it was out, but this great review definitely makes me determined to see it - I wish it wasn't two months away before it comes out! I can tell by this it is right up my alley!

Posted on Apr 29, 2014 10:16:53 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2014 12:48:28 PM PDT
The grammar in this review is fine. Your snobby, snotty attitude is not!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2014 1:05:30 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 29, 2014 1:06:10 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2014 1:06:22 PM PDT
C. Vitek says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jun 12, 2014 8:49:39 AM PDT
Alyssa L. says:
Anita-- I liked your review... I had noticed the street lined with older cars, but hadn't thought of how that tied in to the "timeless" theme of which you write... you hit the nail on the head with your observation because I got a feeling of it while watching this movie (many times over, by now...), but couldn't express what that feeling was. I only have one question and that is to ask why you only gave it 4 stars? Just wondering!

Posted on Nov 9, 2014 1:25:00 PM PST
sandisue says:
I loved this movie and also noticed those details, like cars and the clothes they were wearing. This is a really well thought out review. So you traded your smart phone for a dumb one. You shared your observations about life today and how you see it relating to this movie. I found your perspective interesting and well stated. Not snobby at all.
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