Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Shawshank Redemption

cast: tim robbins, morgan freeman, bob gunton
director and screenplay: frank darabont
based on the novella “rita hayworth and the shawshank redemption” by stephen king

one can tell immediately that a movie is good when it does not rely on hot chicks to attract the male crowd. i’m assuming of course that the female crowd are more mature when it comes to the qualities they look for in a good film – meaning good-looking hunks are a plus but not a necessity. men like me on the other hand, usually need sexy babes, flashy cars and fast-paced action with minimal brainy dialogue in order for our attention to hold. “shawshank redemption” is one of those exceptions to the rule.

the movie tells of andy dufresne, a banker who is falsely accused of murdering his wife and her lover, then sentenced to two life terms at shawshank prison. what separates andy from the other prisoners is his refusal to give up hope on living a free life.

constantly on guard against a trio of prisoners called “the sisters” who repeatedly rape him, he nevertheless always puts up a fight against them. sometimes he wins, sometimes he loses. but he always has that hope that he may win, if not eventually, then at least temporarily.

throughout the movie, the audience can see that despite the indecencies, drudgeries as well as the monotonously dull routine events of prison life, andy never loses hope on being free. his spirit always shines through.

one will find andy constantly writing congress asking for funds to expand the prison library, and congress had to finally relent if only to stop him from writing letters.

another time, after incurring good favor from a guard whom he helped by giving sound financial advice, he asked that his prisoner friends be given a few beers after a day’s hard work under the sun. this reward he chose so he can feel like a free man again even for just one day.

still another time he played classical music over the prison’s sound system and for this, he had to spend two weeks in solitary confinement. when he got out, he said it was the easiest time he’s ever did as music stays in the mind and in the heart – places where no one can touch.

the movie tells viewers that the bleakness of a situation does not depend on one’s surroundings but on the person’s attitude towards the lot that is given to him.

rating: 5 of 5 stars * * * * *
a classic.


rob said...

For me it is Morgan Freeman's character that stands out in this classic movie. I could relate to the part when Freeman became a free man, got a job bagging groceries, but realized that his life didn't have meaning anymore outside prison.

Is the movie better than the book? What are the parts in the book that they ommitted from the movie?

roehl said...

i could honestly say that the movie is as good as the novella although i couldnt remember if they excluded certain important parts in the movie.

rmacapobre said...

my favorite character here is the bible reading christian warden. he serves as exhibit A of how often, religion is used as a mask. and that we should never trust anyone just because s/he professes faith in a god. moreso, we should be more wary of these people who do and justify their actions in the name of their god/dess ..