The 1992 movie “Of Mice and Men” is an adaptation of a 1937 classic tale of a Novel Prizewinning author John Steinbeck. A story about the two travelling companions wandering the country at the time of the great depression hoping to find a better life for themselves. Just as things were about to get better, it seems to suddenly slip away. There is a prevailing problem between the characters in terms of interacting with each other. It is because one of them is mentally retarded and does not basically understands his own strength, which in return causes so much problem with his companion. However, the movie conveys a theme of friendship constantly brought forward throughout the story. Further in the movie, an anticipated incident involving a young girl gave a tragic conclusion to the movie creating quite a sad end to a great classic American tale.
Director Gary Sinise took the popular novel into a screen masterpiece creating a much better adaptation as compared to remakes of the novel done on television. The main characters in the movie are Lennie Small played by highly acclaimed actor John Malkovich and George Milton portrayed by the director himself Gary Sinise. The film also features memorable characters that are also found in the novel itself such as Curley played by Casey Siemaszko. He is the aggressive son of the ranch owner suffering an inferiority complex making him to dislike taller men such as Lennie. The role of Candy played by Ray Walston were perfectly depicted in the film as the person that encourages Lennie and George to pursue their dream of having their own farm, provided that Candy would be allowed by the two to live with them.
The film features a small ranch in the Salinas Valley in North Carolina in somewhere during the 1930s. The majority of the scenes were taken over a course of three days in four different locations. One is the bunkhouse, the stable hand's room, the main barn and in the Salinas River. On a bigger perspective, the story took place during the time of the great depression in America depicted by poor people struggling to find a living and pictures of poverty brought by the country's economic dilemma are everywhere in the picture. The film may have presented a specific place and time in its context, but there are certain elements in the film that defines its true narrative. The characters in the film in particular do not only depict an archetype of individuals during the time setting of the movie, but also represents real people that can be found in the broader population.
All of the elements in the film were symbolic in myriad ways such as Lennie, which is a symbol of a “wise fool” because despite his mental inferiority he was still able to reveal the true nature of people around him. His foolish behavior allows him to be more honest and do things that other normal people can't. George on the other hand symbolizes a typical man that is neither exceptional and horrible. He represents the common person that people see and meet everyday, but the thing that makes him different is his sense of compassion and enthusiasm. Other symbolism that can be found in the film is the settings, which defines the theme itself. The rabbit symbolizes Lennie's hope and dreams together with the reality that encompasses the impossibility of its fulfillment. The mice on the other hand symbolize all the false hopes of achieving a safer place for Lennie.
Of Mice and Men. Dir. Gary Sinise. Prod. Gary Sinise. Perf. John Malkovich and Gary Sinise. 1992. Film.