The Shawshank Redemption, 1994.
Directed by Frank Darabont.
Starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler and Clancy Brown.
The Shawshank Redemption is one of the most beautiful stories ever told on film and is always selected near the top of any film chart. The film, adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, follows the story of banker Andy Dufresne (Robbins) and the twenty years he spends wrongly imprisoned in Shawshank State Prison after the murder of his wife and her lover.
Dufresne enters the prison a relatively young man who is articulate, intelligent and mild mannered. He makes friends with Red (Freeman), the prison go to guy, but can’t fend off a group of thugs that threaten, beat and rape him regularly. As time passes in the prison Andy makes more friends and soon becomes a favourite with the guards when he offers to do their taxes for them and then helps the Warden launder money. As time passes all of the men by they slowly age and become wiser, but still imprisoned.
The Shawshank Redemption is a story of hope and fear. Where as many give up hope of life beyond the prison walls and become institutionalised they fear what lies beyond the safety of the prison. A generation has passed them by and these men have not been privy to all the changes in the world. Andy is different though and never gives up his hope. He hopes that one day he will be free again and can continue to live his life. It is this hope that sets him free.
The Shawshank Redemption is a film you must see before you die because it is such a beautiful and well-woven story packed with an insight into men, hope, fear and life itself. The story of Andy Dufresne is a beautiful reminder that no matter how bad life gets if you keep your hope you can set yourself free from the prison that is fear. A metaphor we could all use at some point or another.
“Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free”.
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