The Green Mile By Stephen King

Decent Essays
Written by Stephen King in 1996, the film adaptation of The Green Mile, directed by Frank Darabont, explores the ideas of death row and the use of power. Set in 1935, the movie follows the story of John Coffey, an alleged double murderer sentenced to death, and the guards at Cold Mountain Penitentiary in charge of inmates on death row. Cinematic techniques were made use of to add to the intensity of the film as well as to engage the audience.

Two types of behaviour were shown towards the inmates on death row in The Green Mile, exhibiting the different uses of power. Guards Paul, Brutus, Dean and Harry treat the inmates with respect and in a well-mannered way, not aggravating them. Paul once said, “Men under strain can snap; hurt themselves,
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The Green Mile shows that using the death penalty isn’t the best form of punishment, with two of the three executions shown in the film being unjust. Del’s execution was unjust as Percy, who didn’t like Del and wanted him to suffer, was in charge of the execution. Percy purposely refrained from wetting the sponge placed on Del’s head, concluding in a longer execution that set Del on fire and made him suffer. The other execution deemed as unjust was John’s, as he was innocent yet was executed for the crime that he was allegedly convicted for. John did not rape and murder the two girls he was found with, but only tried to help them with his supernatural powers. John said to Paul at the start of the movie, “I tried to take it back, but it was too late,” which only made sense towards the end. John said this on account of he tried to take back what had happened to the little girls, but it was too late as they were already dead. John was as innocent as a fly, and would not hurt anyone, let alone children. Paul felt as if he was dishonouring God by executing John, asking him prior to his execution, “On the day of my judgement, when I stand before God, and He asks me why did I kill one of his true miracles, what am I gonna say? That it was my job? My job?” Including John’s execution, an execution of an innocent man in a inhumane manner, shuts down the idea of bring back the death…show more content…
One frequent camera technique that was used was only filming the feet of someone, in particular John Coffey. To show the height of John, only his feet were shown at first, then slowly moving up to give the affect of John’s height. To display the reactions of John’s height, the camera zoomed in on the faces of the guards, and of the people who found John with the dead girls. Zooming up on the faces of the people showed their facial expressions to seeing John for the first time. The song used in The Green Mile was Cheek to Cheek from the film Top Hat, where the song was sung when Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were dancing together. Lyrics from the song state, “I’m in heaven”, and is heard when John was allowed to watch a film for the first time before he was executed. While John was watching Top Hat, he was incredibly happy at the time, reflecting the lyrics sung when he was watching the movie. At the beginning of the movie, when an older Paul is watching the same movie, Paul was brought to tears, thinking of how he had to execute an innocent man and the memories of watching the movie with
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