Paul Edgecomb is the head of the death row at Cold Mountain Prison, each of whose prisoners once walks the “green mile” on the way to the place of execution. Paul has seen many prisoners and guards during his work. However, the giant John Coffey, accused of a terrible crime, has become one of the most unusual inhabitants of the block.
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The plot is identical to the book by Stephen King, so I will be brief. Paul Edgecomb works as the head of the cell block. This is not a simple block – people sentenced to death spend their last weeks here – the most notorious criminals: maniacs, rapists, murderers. Paul worked here for years, carried out hundreds of executions, and learned to be a cynic, but never learned to be a murderer. He managed to keep a man in himself, as well as three of his bosom friends who work with him. The suicide bombers called their last steps as a living person the âgreen mileâ, because the floor of the long corridor along which the prisoner was led on his last journey was covered with green linoleum.
Many have walked this path and Paul endured it all. But a person with divine power must walk along the green mile, and, as Paul is sure, a person who is not guilty of anything. He appeared in the block and made a noise – a huge, gigantic black man, with the muscles of a goliath and the strength of an elephant, was meek and cried all the time. He was charged with the murder and rape of two twin girls. The Negro is weak in mind, but in his hands lies an enormous healing power, however, on a green mile, his power is of no use. Everything that happens on the green mile stays on it. This is the law. And the unfortunate warden will carry through his life the memories of those months that he spent in prison with the giant John Coffey. They changed his life forever!
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The film is based on the best-selling novel “The King of Horror” by Stephen King. Stephen King is not only the most successful and richest writer in the history of world literature, he is certainly a very talented person. My fascination with King’s work began a few years ago with the excellent Hopelessness. Unlike other kings of the genre, for example, Lovecraft, King describes really scary things and describes them very brightly, emotionally and talentedly, as if passing through himself (by the way, to write “Mile” he spent several days on death row, and even fastened himself to electric chair for completeness). He does not omit details, some of King’s style is simply shocking, because people, characters in his works are the most natural, and are engaged in human affairs, and only mysticism interfering in their lives violates the natural course of things.
King is the author of a huge number of novels and almost all of them have been filmed, and it should be noted that King is very fond of cinema, often writes scripts himself, sometimes acts as a producer, and occasionally even flashes in episodes. This flirting with the cinema is not accidental – the literary language of the writer is extremely cinematic. It is as if he is sliding the camera through the plot of his novels, just take it any way – a ready-made script, painted to the smallest detail.
True, King is very unlucky on the screen version – the canons of traditional horror films are too strong in the USA, so they throw out the whole meaning from the novel, cleanse it of all the real and leave only scary meaningless pictures, according to which often completely disgusting directors shoot sucky films with mediocre TV actors like “It” or the recent “Hopelessness”. It is impossible to film King traditionally and so one-sidedly! To make a movie based on King, you need, firstly, to thoroughly analyze his work, and secondly, just love his characters.
Frank Darabont himself often admitted that he loves Stephen King and considers him the most outstanding writer of our time. Itâs not for me to judge Darabont, King actually has a lot of purely opportunistic and ornamental novels, but you canât take one away from the director – he was so imbued with the works of the king of horrors that he already shot two unconditional masterpieces based on them, and I hope he shot another one (I Haven’t seen The Fog yet. What is interesting is that Darabont has little interest in horror novels, because such books, firstly, are filmed in clouds, and secondly, due to the ease of the genre, they are made quickly and traditionally. But such as The Green Mile – it’s scary to film, not everyone can pull it off, the characters are painfully complex, the book is painfully multifaceted, the meaning is painfully heavy. This is not for you to shred children into shreds – a sea of ââfake blood and a maniac’s face distorted by anger. You canât drive up to the âMilaâ on an all-terrain vehicle!
However, Darabont is an extremely strong and professional director. He impressed everyone without exception – both critics and spectators, filming in 1994 a short story by King “Rita Hayward or the Shawshank Redemption”, received several Oscars and a good box office. A few years later, he took on King’s best work, The Green Mile. He had two ways – either to change the book in order to give the film a more glossy and popular tone, that is, to disfigure King with scenario conventions, or to film the book exactly, as if turning page after page in front of the audience. He chose the second path, perhaps the only true one.
No King was harmed in the film adaptation! Darabont did not miss a single, even the smallest detail, he was pedantic and accurate in everything. Even the dialogues of the characters are as close as possible to the text, everything is accurate and clear. There were only a few subtle changes, but the atmosphere of the novel, the atmosphere of pain and fear, the spirit of the last, most difficult path in the life of criminals, were conveyed admirably. Darabont managed to transfer to the screen not only the unique atmosphere, but also without prejudice to the meaning of the book, the characters of all the characters, managed to convey the laws of the era and managed to please everyone – both the audience, which is confirmed by $ 286.8 million in box office receipts, and critics, which is confirmed by several Oscar nominations, and even King, who called The Green Mile his favorite film adaptation.
The downside of many of King’s books is their length. Love for a thorough study of details sometimes ruins his novels, so I canât read The Dark Tower at all – there are too many volumes – a dozen of the same books. Darabont could have corrected this shortcoming by adding music or at least a few dynamic scenes to the film, but he did not do this so as not to lose the thread of the novel. The film has the iridescent rhythms of Humphrey Bogart films, and the style of the film is the flow of a smooth, calm, slightly sleepy river. But what is surprising – the film has a gigantic running time – 3 hours! Yes, on the “Lord of the Rings” I fell asleep and woke up five times during this time, but I did not want to sleep here. This film, devoid of all the tricks of cinematic attraction, draws in, reigns supreme over the viewer, keeps him at the screen for all 3 hours. Just as I devoured the book, so I devoured the film – at once, in one fell swoop. This is truly a miracle of a wonderful director.
The film is very emotional, perhaps even sentimental. But this is not the cheap sentimentality of the Brazilian series, where everyone spews torrents of tears, and then drowns in their own molasses, crushed by pink elephants. These are real, life feelings that are insanely touching. I restrained myself for a long time, but in the end I still could not stand it – some scenes were made so strongly. There is no falsehood in them. They are sincere and free. And there is no happy ending, the film is perhaps even cruel, although, after thinking, you understand that it could not have happened otherwise.
The picture is occupied by an amazing ensemble cast – that “The Shawshank Redemption”, that the “Green Mile” – the actors are chosen absolutely perfectly – there is simply nothing to complain about. I love Tom Hanks, although few of his roles give me warm feelings for him, but here he played perfectly, perhaps the best part of his that I have seen. Very evenly, with the share of cynicism that his hero needs, without unnecessary emotions, without tears and wringing of hands, Hanks is really a great actor, itâs a pity that this is not always visible in all sorts of The Da Vinci Codes and pathos Ryans, where he really doesnât know what to do and how to present yourself.
When I read the book, I myself saw in John Coffey someone like Michael Clarke Duncan. And when I saw the movie, I saw it with my own eyes. Yes, it was a Kffi from my imagination. The perfect choice! A huge black man with gigantic muscles, but a very kind, slightly childish face. Duncan looked amazing – he was innocent, touching and amazingly sincere. He was nominated for an Oscar for this role, and itâs a pity that they didnât give him – I didnât expect this from him, an action hero. Amazing.
Yes, everyone you donât take is in its place, no fools. James Cromwell as warden, David Morse as Brutis (very good), Michael Jeter as Delacroix, Doug Hutchison as vile Percyâ¦. Excellent actors, true professionals, who fully revealed the characters of their characters to us, in terms of the level of play, this film is rather a very strong psychological drama, and not a declared mystical thriller, and the cat cried mystics there.
It is difficult for me to see any flaws in this film, because it is rare to find a director who is able to transfer a voluminous and complex book to the screen with such love, so accurately and without loss. I love the book and I love the movie. This is a worthwhile movie. The perfect adaptation of a brilliant novel is one of the best films of the last decade! He is able to shake to the core and will not leave you indifferent, and this is a sign of a good movie.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (51.1 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
English: Dolby TrueHD with Dolby Atmos 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
German: Dolby Digital 5.1
Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Korean, Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Swedish.