|Green Mile, The|
"The Green Mile. It's the gate between life and death..."
John, a slave accused of the assassination of two young girls, is brought into a prison where the occupants will be put to death by means of the electric chair. Paul, who is responsible for the section, is not impressed by Johnís size. The prisoner is so docile and vulnerable that the guards have trouble understanding what pushed him to murder those children.
At the same moment, Percy, who has just joined the team because of his connections, becomes known in the section by not respecting the prisoners any more than he respects the rules of the prison. He dreams of participating in an execution. Paul and the other guards fear they will lose their section if they stop him from mistreating the prisoners.
One day, Perry purposely crushes the mouse that had become one of the prisonerís roommates, to his great dismay. The mouse is brought to John who resuscitates it before the guardís dazzled eyes. From this moment, the section questions itself to know who John really is. Does he deserve the chair? Is he an angel? A demon?
When Stephen King adventures in something other than horror, its because he has a very precise idea in his head. This movie proves once more that three hours shouldnít discourage viewers if the movie is captivating. The Green Mile shows proof of intelligence. The actors are, for the most part, all men aged between thirty and sixty and are excellent to the point of making us forget we are watching a fictitious story.
Percy is the type of person that enrages everyone. He does everything to frustrate us. He is perfectly played and reminds us of a seven-year-old who has everything to prove. John is a big impressive guy who in fact is scared of the dark and of hate. He is well played in his best moments. The roles of the guards are not as well developed but brilliantly illustrate the delicate situations that face the law agents in similar conditions.
This story has nothing very pushed but its approach succeeds very well. A light humor floats in the air, especially in the scenes that implicate the mouse, who holds an important role. Then, repeatedly, this humor is crushed by a dramatic event. It is in this fashion that The Green Mile succeeds in manipulating its audience and it is also for this reason that it was very successful at the box office.
The conclusion isnít an exception to this agile manipulation and is so well orchestrated that it is hard not to cry. We could think this movie tries to pass messages on slavery, racism, the death penalty, the abusive power of law but messages are not developed too much and it is perfect this way. However, I would have to say this movie is not one of the best because it is so easily forgotten. When we look at the movie as a whole, we notice that nothing much happens and this is typical of drama movies. On the other had, I am sure that many people will enjoy this style.
- Percy purposely sabotages the electric chair so that the prisoner doesnít die immediately.
- The amplitude of the final scene.
Released in: 1999
Thriller - Fantasy - Drama - Historical
Films in similar category:
Killers in the House
Glass House, The
( 2002-03-11 )
Read this article in French