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TYMNHS: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

For this edition of things you might not have seen, I thought I would highlight a great movie: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

If you could live a great life, what would it look like?

Walter Mitty daydreams; his imagination taking him to fantastical locations, and placing him in the centre of heart-pounding adventures. It is where he lives out the extraordinary in his ordinary life.

Walter is a negative assets manager at Life magazine. His love life consists of a crush on his coworker, Cheryl, and an incomplete eHarmony account. The highlight of Mitty’s career is working with legendary photojournalist Sean O’Connell, although they haven’t met in person.

The photojournalist sends Mitty his latest negatives, and a wallet, as a gift in appreciation of working with him. O’Connell believes his negative #25 captures the “quintessence of Life”. He thinks it should be used for the cover of the magazine’s final print issue, but the problem is that the negative is missing. Walter stalls for time with his manager, who is also handling the downsizing. Looking at the other three negatives for clues, Mitty sets on a quest to find the photojournalist himself, to ask him for the missing negative.

What Walter finds next is an adventure to rival his daydreams: flying off to Greenland, jumping off in shark-infested waters, escaping from a volcano eruption, and confessing his feelings to his long time crush.

Walter’s adventures land him back home, without the negative, or the photojournalist he went searching for. His manager promptly fires him, and things get even worse for Walter, when he hears that Cheryl got back with her estranged husband.

Walter haven’t given up on finding the lost negative. The final clue takes Walter to the Himalayas, where he finally locates O’Connell photographing a rare snow leopard. When Walter asks him about the negative, O’Connell explains that the negative was in the wallet he send him, but Walter threw away the wallet. This realization causes him to lose all hope of ever finding it.

While helping his mother sell her piano, Walter tells her his story. His mother gives him the wallet, which she retrieved from the trash. He delivers the found negative to Life magazine, telling management that it was the photograph O’Connell wanted for the final issue.

Soft-spoken, and once timid, Walter berates his former manager for disrespecting the staff that helped the magazine reach where it was, before walking away from the office.

Walter reunites with Cheryl, when he learns that she didn’t get back with her husband and that it had been a misunderstanding. He tells Cheryl of his adventures and admits that he does not know what negative #25 shows. Walter and Cheryl see the final issue of Life at a newsstand, which is a picture of Walter himself, sitting outside of the Life building, examining a contact sheet.

If you could live a great life, what would it look like?

What is stopping you from living it?

I hope that you enjoyed today’s blog post. Thank you for reading!


Published by Aisha Urooj

I live in Toronto, Ontario. I love living in my multicultural city. My hobbies include writing, reading, painting and photography. I adore classic books and hope to someday emulate the books that I love and cherish. I have a newsletter you can join at Hope to see you there! 😊

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