The Green Mile is an American fantasy, mystery and crime drama adapted from Stephen King's novel  and directed by Frank Darabont in 1999. The stars of the film are Tom Hanks, which appears as a Paul Edgecomb, the commanding officer of the death row cellblock at Cold Mountain Penitentiary in Louisiana, and Michael Clarke Duncan in his breakout of a supporting role as John Coffey, an innocent and physically strong looking black man, placed on a death row for a crime he never committed. The film is composed between reality and John Coffey’s superpowers, and it also crosses highly meaningful themes, for example racism, punishment of an innocent, death and faith. The film was nominated for four academy awards and had other important awards and nominees, likewise a high IMDb rating (8.6). This movie would appeal to young mature adults due its cruelty, violence and tearful scenes.
The story of the film is told by used to be a commanding officer Paul Edgecombe (Thom Hanks) and he flashes back to 1930’s at the Louisiana State Prison where he was responsible for his colleagues and took care of condemned men who are sentenced to die in the electric chair. Although he had seen many cons, he met a completely different con named John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan) - a massive black man who was convicted of killing young twins. As he appears to the E block, he makes an impression of a strong and huge man with poor linguistics who could kill anyone, however, his politeness, behaviour and superpower to mainly heal injured or ill people, portraits him as a completely opposite to that person. That is how from the very start Paul starts wondering if Paul Coffey is really guilty and responsible for murdering the sisters. The structure of this movie is simple to follow, because it goes chronological from the beginning till the end. Firstly it shows the present, then protagonist starts telling the story that happened years ago.
Movie mostly uses metaphors and symbolism that is related to faith, but not only because through several scenes appears the figures of the Christ. More importantly, one of the main character, John Coffey, can be understood as a sign and may be represented as the figure of the Jesus, as it was stated by Paul Edgecomb “I just can't see God putting a gift like that in the hands of a man who would kill a child.“ Coffey appears from nowhere, and at the begging of the movie he mentioned that he is afraid of the darkness. No surprise why in the healing process, lights in the jail starts flickering and after that, he realise diseases as a black swarm of flies from his mouth. Furthermore, a little mouse whose name is Mr Jingles, is considered by many as a form of the angel, who was sent for a con to prepare him for his death. In the contrast of these characters, an evil part devolves to the guard named Percy Wetmore who enjoys watching prisoners dying and suffering, and murderer Will Bill. Thus, symbolism requires a deeper understanding and remarking for the audience.
The Green Mile is set in a Mountain Penitentiary in Louisiana, E block, in 1930’s. It is believable that it is summer, because of characters vivid sweat on their faces that is clearly visible as the camera shows them from very close. The costumes of characters give the accuracy of what year it is, it is understood from prison guards’ uniforms, and cons’ simple clothing and even from women hairstyles. The lighting makes a movie to look realistic, and it dramatically changes when Coffey by his powers showed a guard who is really guilty for murdering two girls - the scene becomes darker. Thus, the mise-en-scene has a great part of creating movie atmosphere, and in this case, it sure did its job.
The context of the movie obviously revolves around the theme of the death and faith. Death appears as a punishment for every prisoner and every one of them has to walk “The Green Mile” and wait for the execution on the electric chair. Moreover, John Coffey’s character portrays a real example of racism, because he has a dark skin, and it conveys people’s mind-set at that time; it shows that he is already guilty and inherently disadvantaged because of his skin. Thus, the innocent person is punished for this horrible ending even though he has a gift from the God.
The Green Mile may leave a remarkable impression for almost every viewer. With deeper symbolism it touches very thoughtful themes such as racism, faith, death, and overall it would be hard to deny the thought that it still is and was considered at some point in every part of the world in every decade. Even though this movie is between reality and fantasies, it can leave mature adults wonder about their faith and morality. On this wise, Frank Darabont completed every aspect and directed this movie as a treasure for the audience.