Soundtrack Review: The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty
    • MONDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2013

    • Posted by: Matt Howard

    For many movie fans, the act of going to the theater to see a film is incredibly similar to a substance addiction. It all started one day when your mind was original blown by one particular film, and ever since you've regularly returned, looking to match that momentary high. Eventually you come to terms with the idea that you've plateaued, and you'll never again reach that peak, and you'll come up with excuses criticizing the product's quality as well as its inflated prices. However, unlike drugs, movies can and do match that initial, brilliant hook. Last week, I experienced one of these rare occasions during a pre-screening of Ben Stiller's forthcoming feature The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty.

    Since the film will not be released until Christmas, I'm going to keep this review absent of major plot details to instead focus on its greatest highlight; the soundtrack.

    Many filmmakers of late have disposed of proper usage of songs within the bodies of their films in exchange for using songs - even if originally written - as marketing tools that are only heard during the final scroll. But as someone who fell in love with the work of music supervisors like Wes Anderson's muse Randall Poster, there's a rare and special melt we experience in our minds when a certain song perfectly marries a film's scene. Like having a woman brush by you with a perfume smelling of past romance, for the rest of your life, that multi-sensory moment of hearing that song will remind you of this film's scene. And to come across four such moments in Walter Mitty, made the film as a whole, a far more memorable experience.

    We're guided throughout the movie by Jose Gonzalez's (Junip) strums and hums, which ease Ben Stiller's protagonist into his evolutionary steps. In order of their appearance the songs are Arcade Fire's "Wake Up", David Bowie's "Space Oddity", Of Monsters and Men's "Dirty Paws", and Jose Gonzalez and St. Vincent's "Step Outside". During a recent discussion we had with Jose Gonzalez prior to Junip's performance at Le Poisson Rouge, I asked him what it's like when he sees his artistic creations partnered with those of another. "I like it. When it fits it fits," he told me. "It's part of why you create music; to let people connect with it emotionally in their own ways."

    Each song is puzzle-pieced to perfectly complement the scene as their tones and lyrical poignancy symbolize what is currently occurring on the screen. Watch the most recent trailer for The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty featuring "Dirty Paws" and "Step Outside" below.

    Go see The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty when it hits theaters this Christmas.

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