Personal Response on Shawshank Redemption Essay

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Personal Response to “The Shawshank Redemption” Punit Gor Foundation II DSK Supinfocom Director Frank Darabont’s 1994 debut, The Shawshank Redemption is a Drama film adapted from Stephen King’s novel Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption from his 1982 collections. Thomas Newman delivers the score to the film. The story is chronological and is in the same time period of the film (1994). The film stars Tim Robbins, who plays a young and successful banker, Andrew “Andy” Dufresne, sentenced to life term at Shawshank State Prison in Maine, for murdering his wife and her lover.

Morgan Freeman, who plays the Character Ellis “Red” Redding, a prisoner in the same jail, narrates Andy’s story to the audience. The film also stars Bob Gunton who plays the warden of the prison. The Film begins with a flash back, where the protagonist sitting in a car at night, drunk, with a pistol in his hand, listening to a painful romantic song on the radio. Parallel to this flash back, runs the trial, which is an introduction to the film. Andy is accused of two murders, his wife and her lover, the night his wife leaves him after a fight. Here its not clear whether he actually committed the crime or not, as he was drunk and confused.

The truth is never shown to the audience, but the editing makes the audience, want to believe Andy, when he is claiming himself to be innocent. In the edit, while he is being sentenced to life term, his wife and her lover are showing making love, in flash back. The judge mentions him to be cold blooded and Andy is very hurt and shocked here, acted well by Tim. This works very well for audience to feel sympathy for Andy. Then introduced is ‘Red’, a prisoner who has spent many years in prison, only master in smuggling anything, within reason, to the jail. Here also starts his narration of how his views were about Andy from the first day to jail nd time to time. From this point it is very clear that Andy is the character of interest for the audience as Morgan Freeman keeps mentioning that there is something special abuot him which keeps the audience interested in the story. The film seems to be dark in the first few sequences as it introduced the audience to the brutality of prison life. It gives an insight of the life of prison, where prisoners rape new prisoner out of eagerness and the urge for sex, which can’t be fulfilled in jail. But is also shows the good side of prison, as for someone who has spent all his life in jail, it becomes his home.

The old librarian who is set free from prison finds it hard to live outside in real world and commits suicide. Prisoners as well as guards bully Andy for first two years, but he fights back well, using his power of smartness. He solves the problem of sales tax for a guard in exchange of cold beer for his worker group and thus he makes friends. Andy here is shown very good in what he does and also very brave, another reason for audience to connect to Andy. The guards also help Andy by, hitting the bully badly, who previously bullies Andy. He improves the library and helps people study.

As time passes by Andy gains more respect among people prisoners and guards and even the warden, who once comes for inspection and sees Andy reading a book. He uses Andy as his accountant for his illegal money and stays lenient with him, but he never lets Andy cross his limits, as he wants people to stay under him. In a scene where Andy finds a situation, being alone in announcement room, where he has just received some books for library and a LP record, he locks the room and plays the soft music. It takes everyone to a different state of mind, as all prisoners stand lost into the music and shows all they want is peace in their life.

Also the use of music as score is very smart in the film. The music never grabs attention over visual in any scene expect for the scene where Andy plays the Vinyl disc in the announcement speaker. In fact it’s just certain instruments, a minimum of 2 or hardly 3, which just help setting the mood of the scene or the film, overall. Also noted is that the music never plays during dialogues, but only in sequences where Morgan Freeman narrates something or in sequences where a certain action is more into focus or any action, in general. The film is vey well directed, and is almost near to perfect, as nothing in the whole film needs a change.

The best example is the sequence where the protagonist stands free in rain, when he comes out through a long gutter, interpreting his relief of getting freedom, as the rain washes away his worries, stress and the dirt he has come from. The film is very well respects the book, in terms of quality which most, novel based films fail to do. The film talks about friendship, hope and freedom. It also shows the smartness and patience in the protagonist. This film is totally an up-lifting experience. It has got most number of votes on IMDB, making it #1.

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