Hope as the Main Theme of the Film ‘The Shawshank Redemption’

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‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont. To summarize the film, it tells a story of a banker Andy Dufresne, who was sentenced two life sentences in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murders of his wife, and her lover despite the claims of his innocence. During the movie, he befriends a fellow prisoner named Ellis Redding, also known as ‘Red’ a contraband smuggler. The director develops a major theme throughout the film, which is hope. Throughout the whole film, hope was a word that was constantly used by the characters to describe faith while being locked up in prison. A powerful quote that Andy Dufresne stated: “Hope is a good thing, may be the best of the things. And good thing never dies”. The director guides the viewer to understand the message about the theme which was constantly stated by the main character to pull the viewers into the movie to understand the overall message from the theme. The director does this by using camera angles was a clear way of defining a character's personality. The director uses color palette two build the movie and to overall used that color palette to connect to the theme in the emotion of the characters as well as connecting the background to the rest of the film. Another one is the symbolism, that the director adds throughout the movie that connects the main theme. Overall, the director uses various elements to connect the film to its theme. Overall, these are the many ways that the director as a theme of hope in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ and how he guides the viewer to understand the overall message of the film.

To continue, the various ways the camera angle is utilized as a clear way of defining the character’s personality. ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ which was directed by Frank Darabont is a convincing film about the life of one of its detainees, Andy. Many film procedures were utilized all through the film as a sharp method of passing on fundamental topics. This exposition will look at how the director utilized different camera points and shading successfully in this film to show power. The use of camera angles was a clear way of defining a character's personality. For example, in the movie the warden, Norton, is often seen from low angles which highlights his high status in the prison and as the authority. This continues to be used as an effective way for the director to show the warden’s position of power which allows the audience to understand the significance of him in the film. Another example of cinematography shown in the film is the point of view of the prisoners. They are frequently shown from a high angle which shows more content in the film by showing the background. For example, When Andy plays music we see the prisoners shown in the form a bird's eye view, this is another camera angle used to display the prisoners as small and insignificant. The camera angles depict the emotion and thinking the prisoner had while the music played this allows the audience to see the status of the characters. As the audience, we get an instant look into who is in control and who isn't in the film. This ties to the overall idea of the film through the eyes of the director.

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Another idea that ties into the film is the color palette used for the film. Inside the Shawshank prison, there is little to no variation of color only dull colors like grey, brown, and black. These colors could represent the lack of power and hope that the prisoners have within the prison. The grey boring tones of the prison represent how the prisoner is expected to act, dull, lifeless, and without an opinion. The colors that the director has used show how institutionalized the prisoners become. The director uses these types of color techniques to show the lack of hope which connects the theme and the overall message of the film. For example, in the part of the movie when Brooks is released these dull grey colors in the background are shown during his release, this is emphasizing how he has become institutionalized and how he has been in that prison for so long that he lost the hope of ever getting released. This contrasts with the colors shown during the reunion of Andy and Red the ending of the film. Where the audience no longer sees grey, depressing colors, but instead sees the bright sand and vibrant colors of the Pacific Ocean which signifies hope and happiness. This shows the audience how Andy is no longer controlled by the conformity of prison life, but instead has regained power, and is now, he’s finally free. Both camera angles and the use of color were effective ways of portraying the idea of power. The director utilizes color as an effective way of portraying the idea of power in the film.

To support this, the director puts in the movie symbols to connect to the audience to the theme. One which is the rock hammer that Andy asks Red to get for him. In the early part of the film, Andy approaches Red for a rock hammer. It is a little mallet utilized for forming stones, and Andy guarantees Red that he needs to utilize it to cut stones. In truth, he is utilizing it to create where he can escape out of the prison The rock hammer represents Andy's promise to a long time he will be working on the hole while being quiet about it and while working on such a hard task. While it is a little rock hammer, and barely useable for the job, Andy is understanding and careful enough to utilize it for his potential benefit, thus it comes to represent his assurance and unflappable soul. This connects the film’s theme which is hope. Andy has hope that he will make it out of prison even if it takes a long time. Another example of symbolism in the film is Brooks’ bird, Jake. At the start of the film, we meet Brooks Hatlen, an older prisoner, with a young bird concealed in his sweater. He cherishes creatures and deals with the bird as though it were a kid. The bird opens up to Brooks' supporting character in the film, however, it is likewise an image of the push-pull among opportunity and restriction. the bird normally flies around the prison which represents a will to be free, however here we see that the bird that has taken to the confinement of a prison and the protection of a keeper. The bird represents Brooks' relationship to the prison. Even though the prison is a structure that oppresses and suppresses him, he also becomes attached to the way it provides shelter and purpose for his life. In the film we know that Brooks was sentenced to 50 years in prison this may explain why he has become attached and accustomed to the ways of prison life does not want to go out into the real world. The director does an excellent job of adding symbolism to the film because it helps the viewer understand the connection to the characters from the overall theme and message of the film.

To conclude, the director of ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ guides the viewer to understand the message about the theme which was constantly stated by the characters and the film to pull the viewers into the film to understand the overall message from the theme, which is hope. Hope is what overall drives the film forward as the characters hope to one day get out of the prison. The director guides the viewer to understand the message about the theme which was constantly stated by the main character to pull the viewers into the film to understand the overall message from the theme. The director does this by using camera angles was a clear way of defining the personality of a character. The director uses color palette two build the film and to overall used that color palette to connect to the theme in the emotion of the characters as well as connecting the background to the rest of the film. Another one is symbolism that the director adds throughout the film that connects the main theme. As the center soul of the story lies in the way that it's just during the most obscure occasions of one's life that one understands the significance of thoroughly considering the case. What's more, it additionally shows some significant life lessons. To sum up, in the words of Andy Dufresne “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies”.

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Hope as the Main Theme of the Film ‘The Shawshank Redemption’. (2023, January 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/hope-as-the-main-theme-of-the-film-the-shawshank-redemption/
“Hope as the Main Theme of the Film ‘The Shawshank Redemption’.” Edubirdie, 31 Jan. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/hope-as-the-main-theme-of-the-film-the-shawshank-redemption/
Hope as the Main Theme of the Film ‘The Shawshank Redemption’. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/hope-as-the-main-theme-of-the-film-the-shawshank-redemption/> [Accessed 22 Jul. 2024].
Hope as the Main Theme of the Film ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Jan 31 [cited 2024 Jul 22]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/hope-as-the-main-theme-of-the-film-the-shawshank-redemption/
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