Film Review: The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption (1994), directed by Frank Darabont and written by Steven King, is number one in IMDB’s top 250 films of all time.

The Shawshank Redemption is about the harsh reality of serving a prison sentence; from fights behind closed doors and propositions in the shower room to the manipulation of authoritative figures. The story focuses on the friendship between Andy (Tim Robbins) and Red (Morgan Freeman ) and how such a bond can help a man get by in these depressing surroundings, giving a deep message built on the foundation of hope.

Set in the 1940’s, Andy is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife and her lover when he is sent to Shawshank prison. It is not until nearer the end of the film that we find out for certain that Andy has wrongly been imprisoned. When it seems that all hope is lost, and we are made to think that Andy is preparing for suicide, a surprising twist brings all hope back to the film.

To be honest, the Family Guy spoof was in my head the whole way through so I knew what to expect in terms of story line. But what I didn’t expect was the depth of emotion that was emanated from the characters. From amazing performances by both Robbins and Freeman, and also Freeman’s narration throughout, the film gives a lot more meaning than you would expect and in places is quite moving.

As a 19-year-old girl, I tend to only cry at films when there’s a Mr. Darcy or Heath Ledger around, but this certainly put a lump in my throat. A film for all audiences, and a story that will remain timeless.

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