There are many films out there that tremendously change the way you see a character from the start of the film to the end of it. These films choose to challenge our interpretation of these characters which we either consider bad or good, they end up making us feel completely different about them by the time the curtains close. Whether its character portraits like Blade Runner 2049, or event films such as Dog Day Afternoon, films that change the way we look at certain characters are always emotion-invoking.
However, none do it as well as The Green Mile. Based on the brilliant book of the same name by none other than Stephen King, Frank Darabont once again dives deep into King’s writing to deliver a film that will shake you to your core!
How to Stream or Download The Green Mile
To stream or to download the film, click on the Download button at the end of the review. And if you like Tom Hanks who plays Paul Edgecomb, check him out also in Forrest Gump (1994), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Saving Mr. Banks (2013), Sully (2016), or News of the World (2020).
The Movie Review
Paul Edgecomb, as a young prison guard has seen many of the prison inmates get executed right before his very eyes. He’s a guard at the Cold Mountain Penitentiary, where recently a new inmate has been brought in by the name of John Coffee. Coffee is a black man of huge proportions, he is the size of a professional bodybuilder yet he is convicted of raping and murdering two white, young girls.
The story follows Paul’s confusion and bewilderment at John Coffee, as he realizes that Coffee doesn’t seem like a killer, yet he feels more like a healer. It turns out that Coffee has a child-like mentality, and he possesses supernatural powers that let him heal anyone.
Darabont and King go hand in hand when it comes to the way this film is structured. It’s cut into moments, a collection of sequences and scenes of Paul’s time with Coffee within the Penitentiary. Paul’s entire personality reflects upon the fact that he is suffering from a severe bladder infection, which is healed by Coffee within a moment. This is where the dilemma starts for Paul, as he begins to question why a rapist and murderer would cure his ailment. The structure showcases series of events where Coffee does this for multiple people and even a rat named Mr. Jingles.
Darabont focuses on the story’s themes of racism, fake allegations, judging a book by its cover, and that we all do have desperate good within us that is inching to be let out. Humanitarianism is something that King takes very seriously, from his books such as The Shawshank Redemption and Carrie to his works about persevering through darker times with The Shining and The Stand. He’s done works that not just inspire us, but to look at the bigger picture away from all the prejudiced hatred and judging behavior.
This is what Darabont chooses to highlight, The Green Mile is a story about making the right decisions and the effects that can happen if you don’t make the right decisions. It’s an innately beautiful piece of literature that is transformed into a feature film that ignites our spark for Cinema.
The performances are exceptional in this film, from Tom Hanks’ recreation of a man suffering from an unsolvable dilemma and ailment. To late Michael Clarke Duncan’s Academy Award-nominated portrayal of the beautiful man that was John Coffee. Every single performance in this film clicks, supporting actors such as David Morse, Bobbie Hunt, James Cromwell, Dabbs Greer, Sam Rockwell, and Doug Hitchinson are absolute standouts in their own right as well.
The film lacks a lot of presentation though, as the cinematography isn’t anything exceptional when compared to the stuff foreign films were doing at the time. The experimentation isn’t there at all in the film’s presentation, yet there are a few gorgeous snippets of CGI Visual Effects that can totally change that within a moment. The production design was incredible, with large spacious sets created to give the film’s mystical themes a sense of history and wonderment.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, The Green Mile exceeds in every single aspect of being a phenomenal book adaptation. However, it does run into a few flaws such as some cinematography-based problems which do take away from the overall experience yet they don’t hinder the film. The film’s portrayal and breakdown of its characters are monumental, and something that definitely deserves praise beyond anything else.