I went to Green Mile prepared to be cynical. Instead, I left in awe. The reason is simple: I have a weakness for Twilight-Zone-type morality plays which invoke myth and simple sentimentality. The plot is not original; a character performs a few supernatural feats of healing, complete with bursting light bulbs. What sets Green Mile apart is that enormous competence of production, acting, directing, and music. TGM is not meant to be a serious look at any social issue. The main setting in a prison in the early part of the 20th century is mere window dressing. The magical character is a huge black man. Again, that is mere window dressing. In fact, all the characters are stereotypes, practically archetypes, and we all know who is good and who is bad. But the movie is so strong, it pulls the strings so effectively, it crafts almost every scene with such perfection, that it simply steamrolls its way over these objections and one is left mesmerized at the end. I expect that serious film critics will find the plot much too cliche for their tastes. But us novice critics are in awe of this example of the power of movie making. And I expect the normal movie-going public will be swept off its feet.
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