Saturday, 3 March 2012

Dead Man Walking (1995) - ★★★½

Director: Tim Robbins
Writers: Helen Prejean, Tim Robbins
Stars: Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Margo Martindale

Tim Robbins' classic true story of a murderer on death row and a nun who wants to help him atone for his sin is one that is not biased on any side of the capital punishment debate, which makes for a very intriguing watch. 

Sean Penn plays Matthew Poncelett, a man sentenced to death for the brutal killings and rape of two innocent teenagers. A nun, played by Susan Sarandon, helps him try to atone for his sins and get the trial he was deprived of due to his poor background. She played the do gooding nun beautifully and was a delight to watch, while Sean Penn once again delivers what can be seen as a class performance. This role was one that made many see a bright future ahead of him, and they were right. The most noteworthy scene of the movie is when both are getting to know each other and you see Susan's face through the window, but Sean's reflection is also seen, so we can see both of their faces looking at each other at the same time. 

Dead Man Walking is a movie that I would recommend to those with an open mind on whether the death penalty is ethical or not. The way this movie displays both the murderers side of the story and the feelings of the parents obviously forces the viewer to pick a side. However, I did not pick a side, because I thought both sides had valid points, and both sides were very much in the wrong. This is why the movie is so great, because after you watch it, you're left to ponder where you stand on the issue after hearing both sides of the argument. 

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