Critiquing The Green Mile
HUM/150 Introduction to Film Studies
September 30, 2013
Today I will be critiquing a film made in 1999 and nominated for multiple Academy Awards, The Green Mile. This film was directed by Frank Darabont and was adapted from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. This film is told in a flashback format and stars Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb and Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey with supporting roles by David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, and James Cromwell. The film tells the story of Paul's life as a death row corrections officer during the Great Depression in the United States, and the supernatural events he witnessed.
The Green Mile is a typical American drama. A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. I consider this film as a typical American drama because the dramatic themes such as, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, class divisions, and corruption put the characters in conflict with themselves, others, society and even natural phenomena. In 1935, inmates at the Cold Mountain Correctional Facility call Death Row "The Green Mile" because of the dark green linoleum that tiles the floor. Paul Edgecomb is the head guard on the Green Mile when a new inmate is brought into his custody: a giant African American man, John Coffey, who was falsely accused of raping and killing two young white girls in Louisiana. Despite his size and the fearsome crimes for which he's serving time, Coffey seems to be a kind and well-mannered person who behaves more like an innocent child than a hardened criminal. Soon Edgecomb and two of his fellow guards, Howell and Stanton, notice something odd about Coffey. He was able to perform what seem to be miracles of healing among his fellow inmates and others, leading them to wonder just what sort of person he could be, and if he could have committed the crimes with which he was charged.