The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption ★★★★★

(I did a lot of this review on my phone, so let me know in the comments if I made any embarrassing typos. Thanks!)

How do you measure a lifetime? Seems like kind of a big question, don’t you think? Do you measure it in small moments, or do you measure it as an overall journey? Does it go by in small pieces, or does it go by in a slow burn? It’s not really a question that is asked often, and people would definitely debate on how they think life chooses to pace. “The Shawshank Redemption” chooses to examine moments in these character’s lives in little tiny bits, making them all matter and be small pieces to a grander whole. It’s in these small, miniscule, and to some people (except me), pointless moments to encapsulate the entire viewing experience.

People have said this movie is “boring”, and while there are moments where I can understand how one could perceive them as unnecessary, these quiet and somewhat simple moments make up the entire film for me. It might be from the amazing performances, cinematography, direction, story, or it might be just because of that. In a big runtime like that, you’d expect that this film would be an epic tale and one of a very substantial scale. But you would be wrong. “The Shawshank Redemption” examines the moments in between, and despite how they could seem repetitive, the film makes it clear that these moments are actually the most important in the film. The film always felt like it was offering new stuff to the table, and every single character arc and idea is not only developed, but fulfilled with so much passion and sincerity. This is probably one of the most genuine movie experiences I’ve ever had, maybe even THE most, and I was in my feelings the entire runtime.

I went in expecting a masterpiece that would completely blow me away, but I got so much more than what I anticipated. The performances are TOO real and personal, the cinematography is TOO breathtaking and highlights some of the film’s most vulnerable moments, each character is so interesting and amazing. It’s too good to be true. The first act is mainly spent on developing our characters, the second act is spent on our side characters and letting them become part of the setting and story rather than just being in the background, and with all of that at its side, the third act completely overwhelms the viewer, making it maybe the best final act in film history, I think we can all agree on that. I’m almost at a loss for words. I hate saying that instead of actually writing a decent review, but here, I could not be closer to the truth. Please seek this movie out. It’s quickly become a new favorite and brought me to a new closure that I didn’t even know I needed.

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