John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men' has become just as much a classic as the old saying from which its title derives. However to label it but a classic is an understatement when juxtaposed with the number of copies that have been sold to and tattered by countless school students at one stage or another. Hence, it is no surprise that Producer Gary Sinise was keen to bring his favourite childhood novel to life in a compelling motion-picture.
Set during the Depression, the film opens with a distraught woman -her red dress torn - fleeing through fields from some unknown terror. Two men, George (played by Sinise) and Lennie (John Malkovich) running for their lives in the opposite direction, from yet another spate of trouble. Lennie and George seem an odd couple to be travelling over the countryside together; separately they're simply two men but together they are the perfect man.
The muscle and the mind -Lennie being the dim-witted giant and George the sharp-thinking man.
Their travels (or their trouble) bring them to Tyler Ranch in search of work and saving a reasonable amount of money, their motivation being the hope of a dream. You'd think viewers would tire of hearing the story of the rabbits, however each time the little piece of land with the house and the animals (not forgetting the rabbits) is mentioned, you find yourself believing with the same sparkle as in Lennie's eyes and the same hope as in his heart that this dream will come true.
Soon enough, the trouble that the pair were desperately running from in the opening scene, finds them once again and Lennie's naivety lands him in a position that even the quick-thinking George can not find a way out of.
John Malkovich's portrayal of the simple-minded Lennie...