The Green Mile Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 9.0
Video 10
Audio 9.0
Special Features 10
Total 9.5

Distributor: Warner
Running Time: 188 mins
Reviewer: Felix Staica
Classification
: MA15+

7.0


The Green Mile

A prison movie starring Tom Hanks set in 1930s America, directed by Frank Darabont that isn’t The Shawshank Redemption. Part supernatural, part morality tale and all-engrossing, The Green Mile’s 189 mins (that’s just over three hours) simply gallop by, though the first hour is useful for settling in.

The problem of evil is humanised in a very dramatic way (and I would say, almost to the point of sentimentality) in the form of the super-human idiot-savant John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan). He is an ethereal figure, dominating the frame and anyone in any room through his sheer height and blackness; a trait artfully exploited by the filmmakers.

Coffey is accused of raping and killing two girls. Chased and surrounded by an angry mob that somehow restrains its impulse to lynch, he is on death-row (the floor is green like limes). He is as unusual on the inside as the outside however, and his peculiar healing abilities soon come to the fore. He gets along with the guards and inmates except one from each camp.

In fact, Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchison) is one of the most disturbing proto-fascists I’ve ever seen at the movies. His cruelty is brought to gruesome fruition in an electric chair scene which is almost impossible to watch. His innate sadism seems to have no explanation, which is perhaps the most disturbing aspect about him

Complementing the evil guard is the evil prisoner 'Wild Bill' Wharton (an uglified Sam Rockwell), in whose soul Coffey sees just ‘bad’. He is pansexual and perverse and able to mimic insanity when it’s convenient. There’s also a half-witted Frenchman with affection for the local mouse.

The movie looks amazing—there are some shots that look so good, they’re hyper-real. The period is recreated successfully, even if some online obsessives point out errors; it is the flavour of the era that is rendered so effectively. It is still a segregated USA.

The message about love echoes a distilled New Testament vision. Coffey may as well have fallen from the sky because the world is not good enough for his simple request that love be a force for good. It’s with people’s love that others kill and this is heart-touching stuff indeed.

They have packed so much onto the single Blu-Ray disc. Extras include the director’s commentary, a making-of, a “creating the mile” doco, interviews with author Stephen King as well as people responsible for the adaptation, the acting, the design and a “Tail of Mr Jingles”. There are two additional scenes as well as a screen test for Duncan and also Hanks’ make-up test for when he is old; and finally, three trailers.

While this film doesn’t fill my personal tastes to the brim, it’s a ripper and deserves its many commendations. There are few technical grounds to fault it on. It is a moving story, beautifully told by many talented people. Subjectively, it may present a little sappy but that’s just taste. I’m sure Hanks fans already have it. It’s bound to raise many questions and much discussion, even if you watch it alone.

Felix Staica






 
 



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