The Green Mile Theme Essay
Essay Question: How are the themes of healing and death portrayed in The Green Mile? Use film techniques to support your answer.
The Green Mile, directed by Frank Darabont in 1999 tells the story of inmate John Coffey living on death row. Narrated by The Mile’s head corrections officer Paul Edgecomb, The Green Mile explores themes of supernatural healing power and death explored on The Mile through the use of various film techniques.
The supernatural theme of a divine healing power is explored through many film techniques and shown through The Mile’s inmate John Coffey. This healing power is first seen when John cures Paul’s urinary infection. As John grabs Paul through the cell bars, claiming he “just wants to help,” the light above his cell turns on and begins to shine brightly and non-diegetic ethereal music builds and the camera zooms in on Paul’s horrified face. The light shatters as John drops Paul and coughs up hundreds of small parasites, symbolising Paul’s cured infection. This first healing clues the audience to a divine innocence in John. Darabont continues to explore this idea of a divine intervention in John through other film techniques. When another inmates pet mouse, Mr Jingles, gets stepped on by Percy, a sadistic prison guard, John states, “Give him to me, might still be time”. Coffey takes Mr Jingles into his hands and as the music builds, John begins to heal the mouse as he blows life back into him. Darabont again utilises light to symbolise healing and…