The Shawshank Redemption (1994) - Movie Review
Finally watched the movie I’ve wanted to watch since so long. A lot has already been said and written about the movie and no amount of words will do justice to this classic that has been topping the IMDB charts since years. Yet, I will try and make a meek attempt to put down my perspective.
Frank Darabont directs this beautifully crafted sentimental crime drama set in the 1940s, a tale about two prison inmates who develop a strong bond of friendship during their stint in the Shawshank Prison.
Red, played by the legendary Morgan Freeman, narrates the story of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) a successful banker who gets a double life sentence for the murder of his wife and her lover, although he is innocent.
Andy uses his accounting skills to work for the corrupt warden (Bob Gunton) for book-keeping his accounts and helps the guards with his sound financial advice. For a man of his qualification and intelligence, he gets a befitting job and completely transforms the prison library where he gets to work as an assistant. Eventually Andy’s goodwill spreads and he becomes a respected and admired-by-all inmate at Shawshank. Andy’s attempt to begin a new life at the Shawshank prison and his effort to make lives of others around him better stands testimony to his unquenchable hope, patience and perseverance.
It is touching when Red recounts his own story and tells about the repeated rejections of his release applications even after completion of his life sentence. Another scene worth a mention amongst several others is where one Mr. Brooks finds himself caught in the pain of solitude and extreme helplessness after his release. He ends his life finding it impossible to lead a normal life outside after spending almost a lifetime in the prison.
With a very well written and deep storyline, the film begs you to think hard about life, fear, solitude, crime and the severity of consequences. Despite facing hardships like physical assault by a few gay inmates and occasional solitary confinements in addition to the wrongly pronounced judgment, Andy survives strong for about two decades with his unwavering determination. As the film progresses, you love the beauty and magic in the hope for redemption and come to appreciate the subtlety in its narration.
Needless to say, brilliant performances by Robbins and Freeman. One of the best movies I have ever watched!
‘Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.’