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Usually, afterlife role playing movies are written by a non-believer and are full of imagination and comedy (aka Dead Like Me). Walter, on the other hand, feels like the author was a believer. The actual meat of the movie (where the important sin took place) received very little time and borders on incomprehensible due to lack of coverage. This fact leaves the watcher wondering what the movie is actually about. The only emotion left is grieving over a death and finally, after ten years, coming out the other side accepting life again. Grieving shouldn't take that long, and nor should this movie have taken so long. The content. purpose. and meaning of Walter could have been recompiled into a ten minute short. But then it would not be bewildering, leaving the watcher wondering why they just spent two hours of their life watching yet another believer turn yet another cold shoulder.
Despite actually being in the movie (I'm the fat guy in shorts at the snack counter), I can't say I enjoyed this film. The first two-thirds are the most interesting, but they suffer from an overt twee-ness that grates upon the nerves, as well as what can only be described as a visual exposition dump. The last third then shies away from the themes of mental illness and instead reveals that Walter isn't OCD or schizophrenic; no, he just hasn't had a good cry. The conclusion is overly simplistic insulting to anyone with any kind of mental health concerns. Also: despite what the poster shows, don't expect much out of William H. Macy; he has maybe five minutes of screen time. Finally--and this is a very filmic nit-pic--the whole film is shown from Walter's POV, except for one brief scene featuring his mother at the store. It does expand a bit on her character, but so little is given to her elsewhere, and this is the only alternate POV scene in the movie, that it distracts and interrupts the flow of the film.
As another reviewer already pointed out (Carmin something), the movie has no payoff. I kept thinking there'd be something worthwhile, but at the end, found myself disappointed again by having been suckered into watching the movie due to reviewers whose opinion I must respectfully disagree with. However, there were 3 good songs by 3 groups I'd never heard of before, one of which I just ordered. If you're curious: "On Our Way To Babylon" by The Olde World, which comes on about 4 minutes in, "Hero", by Family Of The Year about 80 minutes in, and then "All My People Go", by Kris Orlowski and Andrew Joslyn, over the closing credits. The music during the wedding scene also sounded very familiar, but none of the other tracks listed seemed to fit. If I stumble across it, I'll post here. Couldn't find the soundtrack, so ordered an album by one of the groups.
If you don't understand my headline, don't watch this movie. The whole story is a little simplistic but that is part of its charm. no...it isn't about mental health or the supernatural or being on the spectrum. I love a movie that puts real effort into building the scene: colors, setting, costume, camera work, music... Loads of details that show someone was always thinking.
Walter is a wonderful movie. The humor is offbeat for sure but that's the way I like it. There is awesome character development and they all evolve from the beginning to the end. Great use of foreshadowing. Don't let any preconceived ideas about heaven, hell or the son of God stop you from seeing this movie. Although they appear to have meaning in the beginning... that's not what this is about.