Shawshank Redemption: A Synonym To Hope


                              Entertainment. This word is often associated with movies. Uplifting. That’s a word you don’t usually associate with a movie. And it’s not often you associate that word with prison movies, either. But 'The Shawshank Redemption' is a different kind of movie in a lot of ways. A lot of great ways. Whenever, I think about 'The Shawshank Redemption' I think about hope. It's a dark tale to be sure; of a wrongly convicted man, some nasty prison guards, an even nastier warden, institutionalization, prison rape. At its core, however, this is a story of friendship. And the one between Red and Andy is one of the great friendships in movie history.

                            This is not a review. It's just a analysis, about the greatness of Shawshank Redemption. But, why Shawshank Redemption is considered to be the greatest movie. It even has a top spot in the Imdb top 250 list, and also remains as the best movie in many critics list. So, what makes something the best? How do you define ‘best’? Do you as describe 'best' as it is your favorite thing. Or does ‘best’ simply mean an acknowledgment of status by the greatest amount of people?

                         The Imdb top 250 list is mostly based upon the votes of a young movie-goer. Movies like 'Dark Knight was placed above 'Godfather II' initially at the time of dark knight's release. So, keeping aside these great lists, and critics opinion. let's see what makes 'Shawshank Redemption' great.


                       The Shawshank Redemption is a story carefully constructed around its dramatic purpose. The full effect of this is demonstrated by the fact that nothing can be removed from this story without changing it in some way. In loosely, badly written or constructed stories, one can make wholesale changes in everything and not really affect the outcome of the story and the destination of its plot. Here, everything is finely detailed around its purpose, everything works to achieve an effect, to deepen the impact of the story. The movie starts formally and specifically, and you think you know where it's all going, but it surprises you, the way the story unfolds. 


                      We all find darkness in our life. In the movie, years pass by, characters come and go, but there is always darkness, which looms over the characters. Humor and light-heartedness exist, but everyone inside their rooms, are feeling the loneliness. A loneliness, which is eating their lives. Yes, there are a lot of bad men in Shawshank prison, but within those grim walls and the corroding corridors there is no more evil a villain than that of despair.

                     Institutionalization. This is another important theme beautifully explored in this movie, with the help of 'Brooks' character. You could take the entire premise of a prison theme as a metaphor. Most of us, obey the institution then depend on it, scared to change our life-style. The human society is developing in institutionalized environment. However, we can choose redemption if we want. As Andy’s choosing, nothing can prevent our right to choose redemption even it’s so huge like the Shawshank prison.


                  Shawshank is quiet, slow-paced, filmed well but without post-modern flourishes. It strives for (and achieves) a very naturalistic feel using many techniques, from the extremely well-made prison set to the low-key acting, invisible lighting and editing, and a tendency to cover scenes in wider shots than normal. The film is structured in sequences, not scenes, creating a series of "short stories" during Andy's stay in prison.

                       In a harsh and corrupt system, it is good to see a character reaffirm his hope and regain his sense of self-determination. The Shawshank Redemption also works because it has an intelligence to it. It doesn't explain every little thing to the viewer which means that as we watch it stimulates the brain and enters your consciousness. As a consequence it becomes more of an experience than a movie. When I think of this movie, I'm reminded of how classical storytelling and working with archetypes can be just as vibrant and powerful as revolutionary techniques or realistic, understated portrayals. I'm reminded of the level most movies should aspire to; that success can be defined by building around story and character.

                    The movie shows friendship between two men that isn't based in crude jokes or chasing girls. Shawshank Redemption is also blessed with Morgan Freeman's narration, and Tim Robbins acting; his measured silences, and subtle facial expressions. 


                     This is also a story that earns its impact, that doesn't cheapen itself by offering an easy, feel-good path to redemption. Here, redemption is carved out of the stone walls of the prison, just as in life people must struggle to find and give meaning to their lives. Through internalizing the journey promised by this story, its viewers can experience that even the darkest abyss can be survived. That sometimes it's through surviving the abyss that we grow and discover who we really are.     

                       Shawshank Redemption is not a movie about hope. It is 'Hope.'
                 
 The Shawhsank Redemption - Imdb

18 comments:

Manreet Sodhi Someshwar said...

Absolutely agree! Watched it several times and am always engaged.

Cheers!

umashankar said...

You had me hooked. That is a very well written review and does full justice to that great story. One of my favourites.

Murtaza Ali said...

Great Review of an equally great movie... Keep it up!!!

Arun said...

@Manreet Sodhi Someshwar, Thanks for your comment.

@umashankar, Thank you.

@Murtaza Ali, Thanks for the comment.

Jasmeet Kukreja said...

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies" --The Shawshank Redemption

the one of my fav.quotes...

nicely narrated!
n eqaully an awesome movie .....people might like series of "prison break" which is nothing but the advance reflection of this movie ......

Rachna said...

It is one of my most favorite movies. I have seen it so many times. Loved your review!

http://rachnaparmar.com

Haricharan Pudipeddi said...

Brilliant review and equally a brilliant movie.

Chck out my site sometime
http://movieroundup.in/

Irfan said...

My All time Favorite Movie....And u have analyzed it Very well.

Arun said...

@Jasmeet Kukreja, Thanks for the comment. Yeah, you are right about "Prison Break."

@Rachna, Thanks for visiting the blog, and for the comment.

Arun said...

@Haricharan Pudipeddi, Thanks for your comment. By the way, i checked your site. It is awesome. The reviews are great, and the whole design of your site is excellent.

@Irfan, Thanks for the comment. Keep visiting the blog.

Puru@ShadowsGalore said...

One of my favorite movies :)

Vetrimagal said...

A lovely write up for an outstanding movie.

This is one movie which did full justice to the small book , which was stunning by itself. But for some alterations to the end, the book is good too.

Akshy said...

My Favourite movie of all time:). Absoulute masterpiece:). Nicely written:).

rahul aggarwal said...

just want to add "hope is not such a bad thing afterall"

one dialogue from the movie and left a lifelong impression on me...

sad thing about it was it got released at the sametime when forrst gump was released...

RANDYNAMIC AVANISH said...

this movie is one of those that everyone must watch it for sure atleast once..!!!! IMDB rating
says it all

Monali Churi said...

indeed an inspiring movie and an inspiring review too...

JAMES WRIGHTS said...

You are the best,i have been following your reviews for quite some time now and it has help me write good plots for movies i post there for people to download for free,you can check it out here http://1channelz.blogspot.com

Humaun Kabir said...

Thank you for your post. This is excellent information. It is amazing and wonderful to visit your site. It really gives me an insight on this topic.Here you can find many more tips about Self Improvement and Personal Finance.