Wednesday, January 02, 2008
The Green Mile
Sometimes you watch a film and you just have to tell someone about it. You want to share your discovery with them so that they can experience what you have experienced, see what you have seen and perhaps take something from it like you have.
I watched 'The Green Mile' on New Years Eve. It is something I have been meaning to get around to doing for some time and a whole evening, a comfy sofa and bottle of wine seemed a great time to break the seal on the plastic wrapping covering the DVD I had purchased some time before. I must admit that I had put off watching it, a film about inmates on death row seemed quite depressing, however, this film did not leave me feeling depressed. Don't get me wrong. I was not skipping around the house full of joy either but rather it left me with that dual feeling of happiness and sadness and a sense of wonder which is rare to experience outside childhood.
It is rare for a film to make me cry, and even rarer for the same film to manage it twice. It's not that I'm hard hearted, I just don't connect with the over sentimental greetings card type schmaltz you get in some films. This film however was truly touching and endearing. It took me on a roller coaster of emotion. It was thought provoking. It slowly draws you in and captivates you and horrifies you and once it is finished you are sorry it has had to end and somehow three hours of your life has passed.
It is set in a prison in America during the depression and features the lives (and deaths) of the inmates there and the guards. The story unfolds through the memories of one of the guards which centres on a particular inmate who has been convicted for killing two little girls. It soon transpires though that there is more to this inmate than we first perceive and soon strange things happen on the Green Mile, which is the strip of lime linoleum that the prisoners must walk to the chair.
The film is directed by Frank Darabont who also directed 'The Shawshank Redemption' (another favourite of mine) and he once again does a superb job of directing this story. The film allows us to explore mortality, question morality and allows us to draw our own conclusions about the human condition. The characters are sometimes likeable, sometimes, despised and sometimes a bit of both and bought to life through marvellous acting. The script, cinematography and the score were all wonderful. There is very little I would change about this film, (such as where the film ends) but in the end these things are personal. This film is a great film. If this all seems too good to be true then watch it for yourself if you haven't already. I defy anyone not to be moved even if it doesn't make your top ten all time favourites. It has made my list though.