Dead Man Walking.

Essay by goldcoastsurferHigh School, 11th grade April 2004

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

The film Dead Man walking is a film of great social significance as it addresses an issue very relevant to modern society. The film explores why the death penalty should be outlawed in society by giving one of the men on death row, Matthew Poncelet a human face. The director Tim Robbins has employed the use of dialogue, montage soundtrack, camera angles and specific casting to try to make the viewer accept his view on the death penalty.

Tim Robbins has purposely chosen to employ the services of two actors who are renowned stereotypes to play his main characters. Matthew Poncelet is a muderous rapist who was bought up in a rather poor southern Texas household. He was sentenced to die on death row. His character is played by Sean Penn who is renound as a in real life as having a very short temper, and constantly beating up and abusing the media.

Sister Helen is a nun who goes to see Poncelet after he wrote a letter to her, she is played by Susan Saradon who has been previously typecast as a very good, sympathising person. So by employing these two actors Tim Robbins has already established what the characteristics of these characters without needing to explain to much about them.

Tim Robbins has also aimed to bring out his message and help you as an audience to sympathise with the man who is to be killed, through the use of dialogue. Throughout the film when Sister Helen and Matthew Poncelet are talking, it is always in a hushed voice. The result of this is draw you into the conversation and allow you to connect with the characters.

Montage is used by Tim Robbins as a means of positioning the viewer to accept a reality deeper than that which...