The Green Mile
Reviewed by David Kashimba

Based on the Stephen King novel, The Green Mile - starring Tom Hanks as prison guard Paul Edgecomb and Michael Clarke Duncan as the very unique prisoner John Coffey - takes us to a world where supernatural things are possible but harsh realities like humans killing what they love is the day-to-day grind that all the characters in this film live with.

Edgecomb is the head guard on death row in a Southern prison in 1935. He's a fair man who tries to treat his soon-to-be executed prisoners with as much dignity as possible. All but one of the guards that work for Edgecomb respect him and do their best to emulate his humanity. The one that doesn't, Percy Wetmore, is a cowardly sadist realistically portrayed by Doug Hutchison. Wetmore is a character that the audience quickly learns to hate, and though at first he appears to be a second rate character; don't take your eyes off of him because he is the pivotal character that all the action in this well-crafted film turns on.

Frank Darabont returns to direct the second Stephen King prison drama to be brought to the screen. While The Green Mile shares many similarities to The Shawshank Redemption, such as a fairly uplifting, positive theme for a prison movie and a fairly down to earth story, The Green Mile is much more otherworldly and holds some interesting surprises. While most readers and film audiences are aware of and intrigued by King's insights into the darker side of life, films like The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile give audiences a chance to see the deep humanity and spirituality that maintains King's balancing point between darkness and light. Indeed, his character portrayal of John Coffey embodies that balance.

This is an excellent production of a very fine book. The acting and sets are so well done that you will be drawn into this world as though it were a true story you were privileged to witness.

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