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The Shawshank Redemption

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Introduction

I remember walking around Blockbuster and browsing through many movies. Suddenly, I see a video with the words: "Fear can hold you prisoner, Hope can set you free?. The quote captures my attention with its liberating, redemptive power of hope and the religious themes of freedom and resurrection. Frank Darabont's film, Shawshank Redemption, is a ?patiently-told, allegorical tale of friendship, patience, hope, survival, emancipation, and ultimate redemption and salvation by the time of the film's finale? (Dirks). All dramas should have a conflict containing a central theme and symbol that may have layers of meanings about life or other deeper ideas while appealing to our emotions. Not only do the film fits the genre of a drama it also has a deep underlying message. After watching the film, it seems like I have just learned another lesson about life. ?Shawshank Redemption is an impressive, engrossing piece of film-making from director/screenwriter Frank Darabont who adapted horror master Stephen King's 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption for his first feature film? (Dirks). ...read more.

Middle

It is a strange comment to make about a film set inside a prison, but The Shawshank Redemption creates a warm hold on our feelings because it makes us a member of a family. Many movies offer us vicarious experiences and quick, superficial emotions. This film on the other hand slows down and looks. It uses the narrator's calm, observant voice to include us in the story of men who have formed a community behind bars. It is deeper than most films; about continuity in a lifetime, based on friendship and hope and that makes it a great drama. The key to the film's structure, I think, is that it's not about its hero, but about our relationship with him - our curiosity, our pity, our admiration. If Andy had been the heroic center, bravely enduring, the film would have been conventional, and less mysterious. But we wonder about this guy. Did he really kill those two people? Why does he keep so much to himself? This is what distinuguish it from other similar dramas. ...read more.

Conclusion

The story is meticulously crafted, supremely well-acted and directed because it greatly inspires the audience. ?Fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free? is a quote that can truly describe the film and the lesson it teaches. With fear, one can be free and still feels imprisoned; with hope and determination, however, one can be imprisoned, and still feels hopeful and free. Shawshank Redemption plays more like a spiritual experience than a movie. It does have entertaining payoff moments (as when the guards from another prison, wearing their baseball uniforms, line up to have Andy do their taxes). But much of the movie involves quiet, solitude, and philosophical discussions about life, like all other dramas. This is a multi-faceted film and as audiences, we gain experience through voice, language, the body as prime means of expression; and the associated media of light, sound and space. Watching the film again, I admired it even more than the first time I saw it. Affection for good films often grows with familiarity, as it does with music. Some have said life is a prison, we are Red, Andy is our redeemer. All good art is about something deeper than it admits ...read more.

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