‘The Shawshank Redemption’: Movie Review

Essay type:
This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

Cite this essay cite-image

‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is yet another prison movie set in the early 1950s to 70s. However, this prison movie is like no others. Featuring Ellis Boy ‘Red’, (Morgan Freeman) and Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), this film evokes strong emotion and changed my perspective on life. It elaborates on how freedom shouldn’t be taken for granted, and life can change at any moment.

Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), despite being young was a highly successful vice president of a large bank in Portland, Maine. It is disclosed within the film he proposed to his wife, Linda presumably in the 1930’s in a Hay field in Buxton, Maine. During the beginning of the movie, the camera shows, Andy’s wife in an affair with her lover, a golf pro. One night they had a feud, and Linda left to go to her lover’s home. Andy drove up to the golf pro’s home while drunk with a loaded revolver with four bullets. As Andy started sobering up, he decided not to kill them and drove off leaving a trail of bullets behind and later in court, it was used as evidence. It was later uncovered within the film, on that very night, after he left, another man had come with the same intention, reason being he held a vendetta against the golf pro, although his emotions couldn’t get the better of him in time, and he left without a trail. A few days later, it was discovered that they had actually been murdered. The judge assumed it wasn’t a coincidence, despite Andy insisting he dropped his gun in the lake as he left, which after days of searching wasn’t found. The judge ordered Andy, not knowing he was innocent, to two-life sentences back-to-back for each victim murdered at the notorious Shawshank Prison.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place an order

As the film is set in a prison, the cast consist of many different people, each having a different personality and reasons for why they are in prison. Most people are in for murder, while other’s crimes are undisclosed. Andy, however, finds it hard to make sense of his new life in prison, and turns out to be the most unconventional inmate. There are many scenes where Andy is beaten brutally. The film shows how prison is a totally different world to the outside and how keeping them locked up is the right decision for society.

Ellis Boy ‘Red’ Redding (Morgan Freeman), an inmate of 20 years when Andy first enters plays a vital role in the development of this film. He narrates the story of Andy Dufresne and his great escape story after being locked up for 19 years and how the developed a strong friendship that resided in and after Red during his parole hearing, from the first one we see at 20 years, to 30, to 40, when he was released. Red, saw something unusual in Andy, when he started walking into Shawshank, as in the opening scene he quotes, “I must admit, I didn’t think much of Andy first time I laid eyes on him. Looked like a stiff breeze would blow him over”, predicting he wouldn’t make it through his first night. Andy later said, “Hope is a good thing, and maybe the best of things, and good things never die”. He tells us that you should have faith in yourself, and there is always a way out of everything even if it does take many years. Just be patient. He also dictates a powerful maxim that is repeated several times between Andy and Red in the film, “Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’”.

The title plays a vital role in the movie too. The word ‘redemption’ means the action of saving, or being saved from sin, error, or evil. While others might dwell on the mystery if Andy really was guilty or not. We can understand from just the title, what is really happening within the film.

Brooks Hatlen (James Whitmore), the prison librarian who had been in prison for at least 50 years at the time of Andy’s arrival had a complex personality. He was old and witty at times. He was however an institutionalized man, meaning he was adjusted to prison life, and was confident that everyone on the outside would just see him as an old crook. After Brooks parole hearing comes back, he is determined to stay in and threatens one of the inmates by putting a knife to his neck in order to let him stay. Brooks later on ends up ending his own life. He didn’t want to live a life where he would have to worry so much. Red, devastated by the news, quotes, “These walls are funny. First you hate em’, then you get used to em’. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on em’. That’s institutionalized”. Later on, in a personal conversation with Andy, asking if Red ever thinks he will be freed, Red responds: “I don’ think I could make it to the outside. I’m an institutionalized man now. Just like brooks was. I mean, in here I’m the guy who can get things for you, sure, but outside all you need is the yellow pages”. Red was the guy in prison who could get anything from a pack of cigarettes to a rock pickaxe from a small price, which Andy was able to escape with after 19 years of digging. Red might have been superior in prison but it was very likely he would go down to an inferior level outside of prison. Andy however aspires to live in a city in Mexico, called Zihuatanejo, where he claims no one remembers. He imagines himself opening up a hotel, repairing an old boat and starting a charter fishing business, which later all comes true. He finds a way to lead Red right to him, if he ever is released, which also comes true.

Roger Deakins the acclaimed cinematographer in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ delivers many amazing scenes crafted to show suspense with several low angle shots from Andy’s perspective and aerial shots in the opening scenes showing the vast number of inmates situated within Shawshank.

The movie, ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ directed by Frank Darabont sends a deep message, inferring how life really can be hard at times, and you feel like there is no hope, and you accuse yourself of what has happened. Fate does not always lie within our hands, but it is possible to find a way to turn your life around if it is messed up once. Hope is always a good thing.

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this paper

‘The Shawshank Redemption’: Movie Review. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-shawshank-redemption-movie-review/
“‘The Shawshank Redemption’: Movie Review.” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-shawshank-redemption-movie-review/
‘The Shawshank Redemption’: Movie Review. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-shawshank-redemption-movie-review/> [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
‘The Shawshank Redemption’: Movie Review [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 15 [cited 2024 Jul 23]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-shawshank-redemption-movie-review/

Join our 150k of happy users

  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
Place an order

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via support@edubirdie.com.

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.