Green Mile Essay
Green Mile.One of the major blockbusters of 1999 is “Green Mile” starring such famous actors as Tom Hankes, Michael Clarke Dunkan, Bonnie Hunt, and others.
The movie attracts the audience’s attention from the first minutes of the movie. Director Frank Darabont has done a great job on adapting King’s stories of which the movie is based to nowadays reality. The movie attracts the audience like a magnet, and in the most engaging style shows the events which happened during the time when Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) was the head of the guards in the death row at the Louisiana prison in 1935. Producers of “Green Mile” did a great job on turning King’s stories into a popular movie which has themes which have been widely discussed in present real life. Many subjects raised in the movie are common for nowadays reality. “Green Mile” has astonishing scenes to offer for everybody in the audience.There are some movie critics (Harvey Karten, Steve Rhodes) who claim that the length of the movie chosen by Frank Darabont- 3 hours- is too long for such kind of movie.
Others state that the pervious movie of Frank Darabont which was also based on King’s novels “Shawshank Redemptions” was done with better quality. However, it’s possible to argue with both of the mentioned opinions. “Shawshank Redemptions” is a masterpiece of its kind but it focuses on a completely different type of story. If in “Shawshank Redemptions” the central figures are the prisoners, and the main focus was made on them by Frank Darabont, in the “Green Mile” the director decided to pay attention to the personality of guards who watch the prisoners, and depict all the features of their personality, show that guards in the death row can also be human and kind. The length of the movie is exactly sufficient to show all the episodes on which Frank Darabont was planning to focus. Every episode is equally important in the movie because it shows the reality of the life in prison, all the hardships which prisoners have to go through before walking their green mile.
What is a green mile? Why is it so important to be in the subject line of the movie? Green mile stands for the way which prisoners have to walk from their prison cell to the electric chair to be executed. The color of linoleum of which they have to walk is green, and the death which is waiting for them at the end of the green linoleum turns this short way into the whole mile. Frank Darabont decided to show a very unique feature of execution: instead of showing real murderers who deserved the electric chair, he instead showed executions of people about the crime of whom nobody could be sure. Most of the people in the audience have a stereotype of people executed as those who have killed many people and deserve execution. However, Frank Darabont decided to show another side of execution, when innocent people have to be killed at the electric chair. In order to emphasize on the cruelty of this execution, he showed 3 executions in details.
Everybody in the audience could almost feel how awful the realities of electric chair execution were. In one of the cases which were provided in the movie, a person was burnt alive on the electric chair. This episode makes the audience think whether this execution should actually be applied to anybody. Even if a person has killed somebody, it’s very cruel to put him to death by burning him alive.
Another feature of the execution which was brilliantly depicted in Frank Darabont’s movie is that people who witness the execution have to sit right next to the prisoner and see everything what is going on with him, how he is dying. There is no even slight wall which puts a border between the people in the first row and the person who is being executed. The fact that there is no border shows that there is no border between life and death. A person who was just a part of all other mankind just a few seconds ago is gone forever.The movie gives a very detailed analysis of the personalities of the guards and prisoners. Especially attention is devoted to Paul Edgecomb who is depicted as a very kind fellow who thinks that it’s important to treat prisoners with lots of respect no matter what crime they have done.
Paul Edgecomb tells all other guards to treat prisoners as equal people, talk to them, and care about them. Brilliant performance of Tom Hanks makes this image very well-depicted in the movie. Paul Edgecomb feels particular pity for the new prisoner John Coffey who was put into prison because he was considered to have killed and raped 2 young girls. However, Paul Edgecomb can tell at once that John Coffey is unable to kill anybody and he has a very kind heart. In a while, it turns out that John Coffey has abilities to heal diseases. In this part, a crucial point of the movie has come. As critics mark, the movie is very realistic and depicts the reality in a perfect way. However, John Coffey’s ability of healing which is close to Jesus Christ’s ability is not able to fit into a realistic movie, and turns it into a fairy-tale I some way, which spoils the general impression a little.
Every scene in the movie is very realistic. Frank Darabont did a great job on placing the action between the walls of the prison and not going out of them to create a claustrophobic impression. However, the computer-made flies which fly out of John Coffey’s mouth when he does the healing make the movie much less realistic than the first impression you get. It was better for the director to eliminate special effects in this regard because it was very important to show the reality of terrible life in prison, waiting for the last walk to the electric chair. The horror of this is real, and it should not be spoiled by imaginary scenes.“Green Mile” is an outstanding movie with many horror scenes of the life of prisoners depicted, excellent sound tracks, and actors playing their parts very skillfully. The brilliant performance of actors helps to make the movie as natural as possible.
The skillfulness of movie producers turns the movie into an astonishing story about the realities which prisoners in the death row have to face, and suggests the audience to think about many ethical issues. The ethical questions raised in the movie are of great importance, and they deal with ethical values, perception of death, the need of executing prisoners who have done terrible crimes in their lives. The actors manage to depict all the themes chosen for the movie in the most exciting way, and many scenes put tears in the eyes of the audience.Ethical questions.Is it right for guards in the death row to treat prisoners with respect and show good attitude to them?Does a guard in the death row need to try to make the last days of the prisoner at least a little good before he has to walk his green mile?Should a guard help a prisoner in the death row to escape if he realizes the prisoner is completely innocent and was put into prison for a mistake of the court?Can capital punishment exist in the world, or it’s necessary to give a right to kill only to God and just keep people who have done many crimes in prison?Is it possible for a person working as a guard in the death row to remain kind after seeing so much horror every day?Was Percy Wetmore right when treating prisoners with lots of cruelty and doing his best to spoil the last days of their lives?Did John Coffey have to agree with the decision of the court about the crime which he did not do?Is it necessary to build a wall between the witnesses of the electric chair execution and the executed prisoner?Is it necessary to prevent cruel execution like burning a person alive on the electrical chair?Was it right for Frank Darabont to focus on innocent prisoners put to death and devoting little attention to prisoners who have done many horrible crimes?Can a guard’s perception of death change when seeing people executed every day at the electrical chair?Bibliography.The Green Mile. Reviewed by Harvey Karten, Warner Bros, 1999.
The Green Mile. Movie review by Steve Rhodes, 1999.