Movies are the greatest thing in the world. I love how they can make you feel good in all sorts of way. Some make you laugh, some make you think, some thrill you, some make you think, some impress you... And then there's these very rare pictures that go beyond all this, that come and touch you so deeply that you'll never be quite the same. Movies that make you want to live fully, that make you believe that it's all worth it. The Shawshank Redemption is one of these films that you can't just love but cherish. Shawshank Redemption has been reviewed so many times, but films like these are the inspiration for me or any movie buffs to write about movies. Even though this review, might not capture the feel of the movie, I'd just like to try.
The film concerns itself with a twenty-year friendship between Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a banker sentenced to life for the murder of his wife and her lover, and Ellis “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman), a con who has already been imprisoned for two decades when Dufresne arrives on the scene in 1947. The script charts Andy’s attempts to build a new life on the inside, his refusal to lose faith contrasting with Redding’s weary resignation, and works its way to a bittersweet finale with a source of satisfaction.
In 1982, Stephen King wrote a novella(short novel) entitled Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It was (and still is) one of his few mainstream efforts, bereft of supernatural occurrences and graphic murders. In 1987 a filmmaker by the name of Frank Darabont wrote to King and requested an option over the novella. Darabont proved himself a master of the art of adaptation. He had taken liberties to improve its translation to a visual medium. He changed characters (Red was a white Irishman in the novella), scenes (the ending is extended past King’s inconclusive finale) and dialogues (many of the best lines in the film are Darabont’s).
It would have all been for nothing, however, without the universally exceptional efforts of the cast. As written, Red spends his time observing Andy fondly and describing prison life. But Mr. Freeman's commanding presence makes him a much stronger figure than that. The sheer charisma of the man is all-but overpowering, an image heightened by Darabont’s decision to utilize voice-overs to advance the narrative.
Central to the film's success is a riveting, unfussy performance from Robbins. Mr. Robbins plays it intensely, and he ages effectively from newcomer to father figure during the story. James Whitmore's, Brooks is a brilliantly realized character, and the scenes with him attempting to cope with life outside of Shawshank represents one of the film's most moving - and effective - sequences.
The Shawshank Redemption is definitively not the usual, exploitative prison movie. There are some rough, unsettling moments, and we learn that the warden and his guards can be as crooked as the cons, but the movie is really about the human spirit. It uses the hard, disheartening world of prison to show that even in such an environment, life can bloom. There is a difference between living and simply existing, a difference many of the prison inmates eventually lose sight of, and it may just get you thinking about your life, and the fact that not all walls can be seen with the naked eye. Mostly, though, it reminds us of that we all hold the keys to our own prisons.
Shawshank Redemption might have flopped in the box-office, but it is the most divine movie experience you will find in this world. When the closing credits roll you will feel renewed, and hear these words in your mind:
“Get busy living, or get busy dying”.
"Fear can hold you prisoner........ Hope can set you free."
"Hope is a good thing, may be the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."
Shawshank Redemption - Imdb