Robbins's view is finally summed up in Poncelot's last words, "I don't think killing is right, whether I do it, or you, or the government." Be prepared to re-evaluate your particular view on the death penalty.
You will walk away from the movie theater with a sense of the tragedy of any murder, whether it is committed by a person or by the government.
Sister Helen's spiritual counsel to Poncelot is really nothing more than a plot contributor in this film.
The most impressive aspect of the film is its comprehensive analysis of the death penalty issue.
At other times, he can be very charismatic, despite the horrific murders for which he is to be executed.
It is also worthy to note that it could not have been easy for Sarandon or Penn to shoot the last few scenes of the film; shooting an execution scene is very depressing business.full title · Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States author · Helen Prejean, C. narrator · Helen Prejean point of view · First-person, subjective narration from Prejean’s perspective tone · Compassionate, outraged tense · Past, present, and future setting (time) · 1982–1991 setting (place) · New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana protagonist · Helen Prejean major conflict · Prejean struggles to save Patrick’s life as his execution date draws near rising action · Millard Farmer decides to assist Prejean with Patrick’s defense climax · Patrick’s last few hours of life, from his final meal to his last words falling action · Prejean returns home and, after six months, realizes she must continue to fight against capital punishment themes · The redemptive power of love; the linked symptoms of social injustice; the importance of personal responsibility; the moral cost of executions motifs · Supreme Court decisions; grief; the role of government symbols · C. type of work · Nonfiction genre · Memoir; current affairs language · English time and place written · 1993, Louisiana date of first publication · 1993 publisher · Random House.It follows Poncelot from the murders, through his several appeals, and finally to his execution in excruciating detail.No matter what your particular stand is on the death penalty, this film will make you think about the many different arguments surrounding the controversy.Even politicians do not escape the scope of the film.Most politicians find it politically impossible to be seen as soft on crime.Dead Man Walking is a definitive triumph for director Tim Robbins.It would have been too easy for Robbins (or any director, for that matter) to make a film that staunchly took one side of the issue.Meanwhile, Poncelot's mother is heartbroken, and cannot testify at his appeal hearings without breaking down in tears. Intertwined with these scenes, which bring on feelings of sympathy for Poncelot, are appalling reminders of the brutality of the murders: flashbacks to the murders and displays of the intense grieving of the family of the victims, who feel that Poncelot's death would give them some semblance of peace.The film shows how the murders ripped apart the marriage of one of the victim's parents: "Till death do us part," the father bitterly comments.