Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Film: The Shawshank Redemption, 1994, Frank Darabont

On the other day, I decided to extend my DVD Library, and bought some more DVDs, with films like Seven or K-Pax, the one that was set to be watched next was Shawshank Redemption, 1994.

This film directed by Frank Darabont, known for films such as The Mist or The Green Mile, tells the story of a banker, Andy Dusfrene (Tim Robbins), convicted for killing his wife, being transported to Shawshank Prison to spend 2 life setences. His life is not easy at first, but it only can get better. He finds friends inside such as "Red" Redding ( Morgan Freeman) and his group, as well as persuade the guards.
Over the years with the help of his friends, guards and even the prison director. Andy achieves more than anyone could imagine inside Shawshank Prison, even his own freedom.
The Shawshank Redemption is not only a film about life in a prison, it actually which shows true friendship between inmates inside it, but also the difficulties that any newcomer has when first arrives.

The storyline is beautifully crafted adding a slight unexpected twist in the end, when everything the Andy cared of all those years, is swapped by his own freedom. the true friendship between Andy and "Red" is not forgotten upon Andy's escape, and "Red" after receiving a letter from his inmate friend finally finds him enjoying life in his own way.
Despite the film seeming too long, over 2 hours, the constant twists and intrusion of different characters and other happenings inside the prison boost the film to its unexpected ending.
Andy's idea of playing the good guy, persuading the guards and even the director by being their close friends, in the end aids Andy's escape master-plan. Where the guards did not suspect anything.
Finally, my opinion relies on the idea that this film, although aided by camera movements, lighting techniques and acting techniques, is successful due to its narrative.


tutorphil said...

This movie is actually one of the great 'love' stories in cinema - who doesn't think this movie is great? Actually, upon release in cinemas it didn't perform well, but has since become a 'sleeper' and now tops lots of people's top ten best. Great musical score too - and the opera scene - wonderful!

Jackie said...

It's certainly one of my faves! :0)

Ruben Alexandre said...

indeed, the opera scene is one of my favourites, it is well shown how Andy can express is guilty pleasures, despite in the end being taken to that dark and disturbing cubicle.
Also, the escape it caught me by surprise as i think it did to everyone who watches this film, a master-plan really well covered from the guards and from the audience... perfect...!

Alan Postings said...

Hi Ruben,

What a great film. One of my all time favourites. Echoing Phil's comments - The Shawshank Redmeption really suffered at the box office but gained a cult following on Video release. Its often number one on IMDB. If you haven't watched them before I would check out Frank Darabont's other films - The Green Mile, The Majestic, and The Mist.

And K'pax...another great choice - An excellent example of Magic Realism in film.