REVIEW: The Green Mile

I first saw The Green Mile in a time when I was becoming a huge fan of Stephen King and his work and also a fan of Tom Hanks when he was once my favourite actor and believe me, if you are not moved, shocked or even blown away by this, you seriously are the most bitter person on the face of this Earth. No, this really isn’t for the fainted heart folk out there and it really is a very depressing story but I like depressing stories because they really are a lot stronger than light hearted films. Anyway, The Green Mile is a film (as well as a novel) that mixes real life and what happens in the world with fiction and perhaps some life theories that does involve the Bible and questions the audiences about life, miracles and it reveals that there are some sick people in this world. I think the main message that The Green Mile shows is what life we have got and who we have got in our lives and that we need to make the most of it because we only live once (well, we presume so anyway).

For me, Tom Hanks was the best actor of the 1990s who became a rising star with two Academy Award back-to-back wins and has starred in many blockbusters. As for The Green Mile, he may not have received glory for his performance as Paul Edgecomb like has done with his other films in the past but he rightfully deserved at least a few awards for his role in The Green Mile. One thing that Paul Edgecomb and Tom Hanks have in common is (no, not because they’re both the same person) that they are both great leaders in their own ways. Paul is a very noble, honourable and wise leader of the other prison guards in E Block and Tom has played characters where he has been a leader of a group such as Saving Private Ryan, Apollo 13 and a few others. He also shows that he can lead a cast and make them perform at their very best and haven’t performed any better since. In my opinion, The Green Mile is easily his most underrated performance and is one of his best. Michael Clarke Duncan was the star of the show in this one as big, black criminal John Coffey. He is on death row for the rape and murder of two young girls but when he starts healing and performing miracles, he doesn’t seem to be all that he was out to be from the very beginning. The seriously strong fact about the John Coffey character is that he is the one bit of hope that the world never saw and would make the world more of a better place and his theory on life as well as his beliefs about God makes us all think about it really hard and. He certainly deserved that Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

The rest of the cast features the likes of David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell, Michael Jeter, Graham Greene, Doug Hutchison, Sam Rockwell, Barry Pepper, Jeffrey DeMunn, Patricia Clarkson and Harry Dean Stanton and they all gave awesome performances. Apart from Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan, the other fantastic performances that should have been Oscar contenders are Doug Hutchison as Percy Wetmore and Sam Rockwell as William ‘Wild Bill’ Wharton! Hutchison demonstrated the Percy character as someone who you really would like to hurt so badly you’d enjoy it because Percy is the one film character who thinks he is the big man and is a very cruel and evil young man in an environment like the Green Mile but he is really is a coward so he is one of those stupid people who can give people grief but can’t take it back in return. Sam Rockwell has given his breakthrough performance as psycho Wild Bill! Despite he is an evil and psychotic man, I couldn’t help but laugh at what he did in the prison so he is a disturbingly funny character and Sam Rockwell unfortunately didn’t get strong acclaim for his performance just like he hasn’t for any of the films he has done and makes him one of the most underrated actors of all time. Despite all performances were great, the main key character for me is the little mouse Mr. Jingles and there are a few reasons for this. One: he has a mind of his own by showing up in a death row prison block and shows his clever side, two: in some ways, he is treated like another person (especially by Eduard ‘Del’ Delacroix and Paul) but in others, he is just a mouse and three: he also shows the extraordinary side of not only mice but rodents in general and that are quite intelligent creatures.

After his huge successful directorial debut in The Shawshank Redemption, Frank Darabont directs and writes another screenplay based on another Stephen King prison novel but this time, we go on a more depressing, emotional and magical journey! The Shawshank Redemptionand The Green Mile are perhaps Darabont’s most famous works and unfortunately he didn’t receive a Best Director Academy Award nomination for either of the films. It is impressive how he wrote the script from someone else’s work and still manages to write it in a way that does make us believe that it is real and is really set in the 1930s when we all know it was really made in the late 1990s but especially with the script, he mixes both the pre-war/post-war era with the modern era really well and I hope that Stephen King would be proud of Darabont for directing and writing The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption so well! Well, at least more pleased than King was with Stanley Kubrick when he did The Shining.

Overall, The Green Mile is a heartbreaking and magical tale that I think all would enjoy despite its long duration. I didn’t even want the film to end because I enjoyed it so much. You are taken by this film very quickly and it is almost impossible to not at least feel moved or entertained by this film but there is no denying that it is a masterpiece that I, as well as many, have and could watch countless times.


~ by SJMJ91 on 18/05/2012.

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