The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption ★★★★★

“By the power vested in me by the State of Maine, I hereby order you to serve two life sentences, back to back, one for each of your victims. So be it!”

3rd Rewatch

This film was directed by Frank Darabont and stars Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, Willian Sadler, Clancy Brown, Gill Bellows, Mark Rolston, and James Whitmore

This is my favorite movie of all time, it’s truly a perfect movie in my mind. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman give some of the best performances of all time in this movie as Andy and Red, in fact everyone gives phenomenal performances in the film. Bob Gunton as the warden is pure evil in the movie, and he’s honestly one of my favorite movie villains of all time. The amount of corruption from the warden and guards is scary, you don’t really know what to expect from them.

Roger Deakin’s cinematography in this film is my favorite work of his, it’s much more subtle than any of his other work, but it’s so beautiful from the shot of Shawshank in the beginning of the film, to the shot of Andy and Red on the beach, it’s absolute perfection. The sisters are some of the scariest people in the film, the scene in the shower room where they “introduce” themselves honestly leaves my jaw on the floor every time I watch it. I also love the movie’s theme and message about “HOPE” it’s easily my favorite theme from any movie. I also really enjoy the fact that you get to know all the characters very well, you get to know their motivations and beliefs which adds a lot to the story and helps make the characters memorable and likable.

The entire sequence with Andy’s escape is incredible, every shot is so brilliant and the lead up/explanation of it is even better. The shot with Andy in the rain is one of the most iconic moments in movie history, its the most satisfying part of the film in my opinion. The scene with Brooks getting out is also one of the best parts in the movie, in the book its actually not very expanded on but Darabont really wanted to expand on the idea of life after getting out of prison for some people. It’s a very sad scene not only because of the emotional music that plays, but because thats how it is for some people in prison, they’ve been in for so long that those walls are all they know, especially for someone who’s been in for 50 years.

“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”

Frank Darbont did a fantastic job adapting this movie from the novel by Stephen King, he did change some stuff most notably the character of Red, in the book he was a small white Irish man but in the film he’s, well Morgan Freeman which was absolutely the best casting choice in the entire film. This movie has possibly one of the greatest scores of all time by Thomas Newman, at times it can be eerie, at times it can be wonderful, but it can also be heartbreaking.

Andy’s escape is one of the most brilliant pieces of cinema ever, it all feels so genius and planned out, the score is especially incredible at that moment. Morgan Freeman’s narration in the movie is so amazing, he has the best voice in Hollywood. The screenplay for the film is a masterpiece, every piece of dialogue is meaningful, and important. From what I’ve read and heard this is actually a really accurate portrayal of prison in the 40s-50s with the corruption, uniforms, and the actual prison routine, so I really appreciate the attention to detail.

I’m lucky enough to actually live in Ohio where they actually filmed the movie and I had the pleasure of going to the actual prison where they shot it, I only live about an hour away which is so awesome. I got to tour the prison and walk on the actual sets of the film, I have to say that it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing in my whole life, I’ll never forget it and I hope to go bad soon.

The back and forth dialogue between Red and Andy before the big finale is stunning, it has probably the most iconic line in the movie “Get busy living or get busy dying.” That scene give me goosebumps every time I watch it. The 3rd act for the film is the possibly the best 3rd act in any movie it’s executed so perfectly, and I have to admit every single time I see the end credits pop up and hear Newman’s score, I actually tear up a bit, it’s such a powerful, moving, and emotional movie. Please watch this film if you haven’t already, you won’t regret it.

Overall The Shawshank Redemption is and will forever be THE GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME.

10/10

Dear Red, 
If you're reading this, you've gotten out 
And if you've come this far, maybe you're 
willing to come a little further. 
You remember the name of the town, 
don't you? I could use a good man to 
help me get my project on wheels. 
I'll keep an eye out for you and the 
chessboard ready. 
Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, 
maybe the best of things, and no good 
thing ever dies. I will be hoping that 
this letter finds you, and finds you well. 

Your friend 

Andy

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