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.


Sunil Aggarwal said...

the review is like a very passive comment on a very motivating and energetic movie. I hoped that you would come up with a vibrating thought pattern on such a marvellous movie but this is a piece that is rather bland. The passion for freedom that sustained Andy is seriously missing in this article. One more thing, when you write it seems you write out of some compulsion rather than out of heart. Why so?

Pankaj Aggarwal said...

Ya you are right.I have read the blog again and i saw that I have written only about a summary of the film.I missed the main thought of the movie i.e.freedom.Next time i ll keep your comment in my mind while writing.

mohit mittal said...

this movie is like an encyclopedia to the concept of freedom which everybody wants to enjoy but very few actually crave for it and equally few eventually make for it. bro we are not interested in the summary of the movie because nothing can actually compare that presentation. all we want from you is to try to find your zone of freedom and crave for it. if this stage is reached go for attaining it.