Friday, March 15, 2013

The Green Mile Movie Review

It's been quite awhile since I wrote on my movie list project, so today I'm bringing it back. Usually I take two movies and compare them, but this movie, is just way too big for all that.

The Green Mile (1999)

Surprisingly, I can't believe I never saw this movie until a few months ago. As a student of film, that is a "no bueno" on my behalf. After seeing the movie I know why everyone is so in love with this movie, it truly is a masterpiece.

The premise of the movie follows the life of Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) as he leads a crew of misfit guards who are assigned to watch over the inmates of Death Row. However, these Death Row inmates all have their own quirks and eccentricities that really tell the stories of how everyone in Death Row, guards and prisoners, are connected and not much different from each other.

Based on the novel by Stephen King, the movie is a flashback in the form of a story told by a very elderly Paul to a friend as he reflects back on his life.

Paul is a man of integrity and character and despite the nature of his work, he is very committed to his job. He is always the go to guy, and pretty much runs the prison. He never complains of his work, even as he began suffering from some sort of crippling prostate/bladder problem.

Even though he worked with convicted killers and rapists, he managed to treat the prisoners with some soft of decency and dignity. His life radically changed upon the arrival of one inmate in particular, John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan).

First impressions say Mr. Coffey is an intimidating scary killer. He is a hulk of man, probably around 6'5 and undoubtedly over 300 pounds with giant hands. Without giving too much away, John, was convicted of a crime he didn't commit. This becomes clearly evident as you see him grow as a character throughout the film. He has a young childish mentality that is reminiscent of Lenny from Of Mice and Men.

As time passes John starts performing healing miracles and displaying powers of sorts. Once the guards start experiencing John's amazing power they realize him being in that prison was a grave mistake. All he ever wanted to do was help people.

Throughout the film we see a range of human emotions and thought provoking intense soul searching. The value and worth of life and whether a person's soul is evil or pure is a big theme in the movie. There's a powerful scene that shows John removing evil from one person to another. Honestly, you just have to watch it to truly understand.

By the end of The Green Mile you begin to see the similarities between the prisoners and the guards. All of them have their good and bad tendencies and despite their flaws they function and are aware of these traits. Also, it paints a picture of prison being both a place to cage up criminals and a place to hold captive the people who work there. It's just as dangerous to the staff as it is to the convicts, and aside from sleeping at home they spend all of their time there. The mundanity of life comes into to focus as something that becomes a burden.

The acting in the film is incredible and features a great ensemble cast. Everyone is believable, everyone is sincere in their role. The script and story are superb. But perhaps the best part of the movie, is watching the genuine chemistry between Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan as the movie unfolds. Although the film is roughly three hours, you wish their was more. This is indeed a classic.

IMDB - 8.5/10
TheSIBandGuy - 5/5

1 comment:

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