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I’ve never thought of watching this movie before I got to college. I’ve been hearing about it for the longest time but I never got encouraged to watch it. I found out this was shown way back 1994 but when I stepped into college I still knew nothing about it. It’s not like it’s something that’s always being talked about or anything. But as I said I’ve been hearing about it on several occasions back then so it came as a surprise when we as a class were made to watch it. That was when i found out it’s such a GREAT film.
What I eventually found out back then was that this movie is about the life of a convicted Vice President of a bank, Andy Dufrane (Tim Robbins), who was wrongly indicted for murdering his wife while he was drunk. He was sentenced to a long imprisonment and sent to the Shawshank Prison in New England. That place was reputed to be the most brutal jailhouse, and that’s where he experienced such a ‘hard’ life. The first few years didn’t go well with him. When he eventually was able to show he was of some value to the head guard, he began getting an ‘easier’ time in prison. He also began working as assistant in the library and went on to improving the book room, then to fixing the taxes of the inmates and even the policemen around that state. All the while he was working his way out of the prison, digging a tunnel through the very thick prison walls using a small hammer, without anyone having any inkling as to what he was doing. He began having a ‘meaningful’ life after a decade or so, being the very model of a good inmate. But they didn’t know he was already planning on his escape all along, even though his friend Red (Morgan Freeman) was discouraging him in the hope of being freed someday and kept from being ‘institutionalized’.
Then one day, this hippie cool kid came along and they learned he was a possible witness to Andy’s innocence. When he approached the warden with this information, he wasn’t given a chance to plead his case in court. He was put in “the hole”, a detention cell, where he spent his time for two months. During that time the warden got the chance to murder the witness. After that, Andy’s life became dull that even his friends noticed. They eventually thought he would commit suicide since he was talking and acting strange.
Cover of The Shawshank Redemption
But then one stormy night, they discover he’s disappeared. Upon further investigation, they surprisingly discovered that Andy escaped through a tunnel he made where he crawled through the sewage pipe out to the lake 5 miles outside the prison wall. At last Andy was free!
From outside he was able to expose the prison warden’s illegal activities which led the man to commit suicide. Andy, while far away, still gave Red the hope and the will to survive even if he was already old and seemed worthless. Eventually Red’s request to be released was approved and he became a free man again. They had a happy reunion at the seaside where he found Andy.
Yes, this is a good movie. Actually it’s a GREAT movie, a movie with a heart and even a soul. It spreads the message of hope through concrete examples.
This is a movie of never losing hope in any adversity, of never giving up on happiness and freedom, of someday somewhere having a chance to be free from where or who you are. It need not be a worthless existence, like the case of the characters in the movie where they just wait for the end of their life in jail, because there is still hope and a life outside waiting for them.
It has touching moments that you could cherish forever. Its quality is that of an unforgettable and memorable song you’ll always cherish in your heart. It may not be an all-star cast but it has left a legacy, and will continue to leave a legacy in the hearts and minds of those who’ve watched it.
I am praising it so much for being the great movie that it is because it has substance and sense unlike any other movie of today. There are a few movies that can be up to its level. It may not be high in special effects, not of a powerhouse cast, not ultra-hyped by the media or even an intellectually challenging movie, yet it is a heart touching narration. This is a story of an innocent man who got jailed, which made him learn how to commit crimes while inside that place, but still was able to give hope to his fellow inmates. Eventually he earned his freedom even if it was considered wrong by other people.
After much research online, I found out that this is an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel which was shown in 1994. However much to my dismay, I learned that Shawshank prison is fictional and was just made up, meaning it doesn’t really exist.
Although for me there aren’t many known actors in it, they still added to the local color or the convincing atmosphere of a prison institution. The actors are very good, you wouldn’t see them as movie stars but as the character they portray. That is one of the strong points of the movie which made it a smashing success. Even the costumes and setting are very realistic and adds more in making the movie convincingly 1940’s or of several decades ago.
Surely I would recommend this great movie to anyone looking for an entertaining, touching and inspiring film. From a rate of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest, I give this movie a 5.