While Penn is subjected to the anguish of waiting for the guards to escort him to the death chamber, the audience too feels each brutal moment slowly tick by.
Worst of all, Poncelot is reduced to a scared child, and no matter how terrible the murders were, I don't believe there was anyone in the audience who could, without any twinge of conscience, think that he deserved to die.
In addition, the film is particularly effective because of its emotional brutality.
At the beginning of the film, Poncelot seems nonchalant about being on death row.
In the film, Poncelot is not much more than a pawn in their bids for election.
But the most cruel scenes comes at the end of the film.
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.
By Audrey Wu Staff Reporter For those of you who don't bother to read long movie reviews, I will get straight to the point: Dead Man Walking, which addresses the hotly debated question of whether the death penalty should be allowed, is one of the best films I have seen in a long time. He will be almost certainly catapulted into the ranks of the Hollywood elite after this film.
Sean Penn, who is perhaps better known as Madonna's "boy toy" than for his acting prowess, hasn't headlined a major movie since Carlito's Way in 1993.