Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption is an impressive, inspirational piece of film-making from director Frank Darabont. It is a combination of prison/dramatic film and character study. It illustrates the redemptive power of hope and religious themes of freedom with the words-“Fear can hold you prisoner, Hope can set you free.” Darabont’s film is a patiently-told, combination of friendship, patience, hope, survival, and ultimate redemption and salvation by the time of the film’s finale. The actors of the film are Tim Robbins as Andy Dufrane and Morgan Freeman as Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding. It is a story in which Andy, a vice-president in a bank, is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and her lover. However, only he knows that he didn’t commit the crimes. He is sent to the Shawshank prison and now, he has to learn to live within the brutal confines of prison life. His quiet strength slowly earns the respect of his fellow inmates most notably, Red Morgan Freeman and even many of the prison’s staff. But Andy’s stoic acceptance of his unjust imprisonment hides a fierce determination for freedom. Red specializes in smuggling items into the prison for the other prisoners. Red soon discovers that Andy is a most unusual prisoner, although at first it seems to do him little good- he is brutalized by other prisoners. He starts to get both other prisoners and guards on his side when he offers to help one of the most notorious guards with a tax problem in exchange for bottles of chilled beer for everyone of his inmates. From then on, Andy always seems to be working on one thing or another. He improves the prison’s tiny library, and helps those prisoners who want to study. He also handles the guards’ tax returns, and even helps the Warden Bub Gunton in keeping his incriminating accounting records straight and secret. Over the years, he gains the respect of most of the other prisoners and guards. More importantly, he never loses hope for the future- a hope he tries to pass on to the other prisoners he never stops believing in life possibilities but to make the most of them he needs to be free. With a really small hammer used by the rock collectors, he inches his way to freedom night by night over a period of decades. He conceals the hole, he is making into the wall, with a big poster of Rita Hayworth. Every day, he disperses the pieces of the wall he chipped last night, on the ground outside. He hides his hammer in a bible that even the warden holds and reads on from one occasion. In the end, Andy reaches his way to the freedom through a sewage pipe. He uses his knowledge of his banking industry and tax system to recreate his identity. He claims all the money that he laundered for the Warden in various accounts, frames the Warden for his misdeeds, and heads overseas. At the end of the film, Red- one of Andy’s friends from prison is released on parole. A note is left for Red which leads him to Andy’s location and his boat. This is a simple story of hope made remarkable by the interaction between the two lead characters. Both Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman did a fine job in terms of making their roles genuine & appealing and also in the way they work so well together. The main theme of the movie is hope, not despair and the violence serves only as a background to that message. Without any hesitation, I can say that this movie shall be a life-time memory for all critical moments to come.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Is today’s youth living under stress?

The answer to this question is seriously YES. Today’s youth is living under stress. Stress is the emotional and physical strain caused by our response to pressure from the outside world. Stress arises when people face a situation, which they think to be impossible to manage within their physical and emotional resources. Stress makes a person feel disgusted, angry, rejected, and depressed. What causes stress? Stressors are the causes of stress. These stressors may be physical or emotional. Events, situations, people are the various stressors. The most common stressors in the youth’s life are financial problems in the family, pressure of expectations from others, break-ups with boyfriend/girlfriend, career planning, failure in the examinations, inhibition etc. Finance is the main stressor in the youth’s life. Their income is not rising as fast as the rate of inflation which cause pressure on mind that how to deal with the day-to-day expenses i.e. mobile bills, electricity bills, home expenses. We always expect something from others e.g. from our parents and friends. But when our expectation does not fulfill, we get disheartened. In today’ life everybody wants his/her partner. Everybody desires of having a girlfriend/boyfriend. But the problem is such we are not as much mature in this age that we can establish a good relationship with him/her. As a result, misunderstandings occur that lead to the break-ups. As we all know that today’s youth are career-oriented. They always worry about their career planning. As everyone wants to live a relaxed and smooth life so they have to strive much to secure their future. Another serious phenomenon for youth is ‘teenagers suicide’. Due to the depression on mind regarding the preparation of exams, they couldn't prepare as much as they should be. As a result, some failed in the examination that put such a stress on their mind that they commit suicide. Instead of facing with life’s challenges, they want everything to be granted.
Inhibition is also a main cause of stress for youth. They always worry about what the other person is going to think about them. Youth mind’s tendency is to cling more to the negative than to the positive. They need to take responsibility for themselves and ensure that their minds are clear, and not clogged. They always excuse or complain of concentration. When? Do we require concentration when we love the subject? We require concentration only for which we don’t like to do. So just love everything and do seriously which you do. Youth need to realize that they have huge potential and strength to achieve what they want. The true measure of success is a happy, healthy, well-adjusted child that is able to deal effectively with life’s challenges.
There is another school of thought for stress. The question is ‘Why stress should not be’? Some say that stress should be in everyone’s life. If stress is not there, he/she will be satisfied or he/she will not strive which is wrong. A person should keep his efforts going on. Stress makes a person aggressive, work hard to lead always. It’s not the job of an individual rather it’s a job of a society. It depends upon them to classify stress into positive and negative stress. And it varies from person to person that he/she accepts positive stress and eliminate negative stress and vice-versa.