It’s easy to point the finger at someone who has killed another human being. But happens if there is more to the story than the guilty verdict?
In the 1995 movie, Dead Man Walking, Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn) is on death row for murder. He is set to be executed for his crime. Sister Helen Prejean (Susan Sarandon) has the job of spiritually counseling Matthew during his waning time on earth. What starts off a simple story of a convicted murderer and a nun trying to provide emotional support becomes a story of friendship and discovering that not everything in life is black and white. Mingling Matthew’s present state with the murder and the trial leading up to the conviction, the film takes the audience to emotional areas that are not easily discussed or dismissed.
The one word to define this movie is profound. The performances are top-notch, the narrative is taught with emotion and tense from nearly the very beginning of the film. My favorite aspect of this film is that even with Sarandon’s character being a nun, there is no romance or traditional happy ending. The lead characters are equal without using the usual plot points to fill in the gaps in the narrative.
I absolutely recommend it.