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The Shawshank Redemption [spoilers, duh]

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The Shawshank Redemption. A fascinating look into the psyche of men and their perceived notion of safety, freedom and self-worth, if the only life they are familiar with is that inside a prison.

I’d heard a LOT about this film, and all things considered, it doesn’t live up to the unbelievable reputation it has. For all I’d heard about it though, I’d never read the plot, and my expectations of the main character—Andy Dufresne, played extremely competently by Tim Robbins—were way off the mark, and I was pleasantly surprised by the direction the film took, turning into a clever prison break, and me realising how much the TV series Prison Break borrowed from this film.

The highly resourceful Andy Dufresne remains the same man through it all, not letting prison get the better of him, and bettering the life of other inmates, but this film is about Morgan Freeman’s Red and the change he goes through in his mindset, and he puts in a damn fine performance! Honourable mentions to a crazy William Sadler and scumbag warden Bob Gunton.

Uplifting and filled with hope as it may have been, with the reunion at the end sending definite chills, I’m still not 100% sure Andy didn’t commit the crime he was in jail for. Knowing this was written and directed by Darabont, and the twisted ending to The Mist I absolutely adored, I really thought Freeman would find a murder weapon or something that incriminated Andy. Alas.

UPDATE:

Had a discussion about this on Reddit, increasing my understanding of why people did like it so much, and someone made the very good point that my proposed ending would have gone against everything the film stood for.

Darabont is an extremely intelligent fellow. He knew much better than to incriminate Andy. That would have worked against everything else in the film. Andy wasn’t a great man, but he was honest to his word, that was what Darabont built his entire character around.

 

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2 thoughts on “The Shawshank Redemption [spoilers, duh]

  1. Amanda says:

    Maybe it’s because you’d heard too much about this film. Too much expectation is never a good thing. I watched this film in 1995 (OMG 16 years ago!). It was one of the first western films I had watched. It blew my mind.

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