The Shawshank Redemption Review

“No matter how shitty my life gets, there is always a sense of comfort knowing that I can turn to The Shawshank Redemption, because it will always be the same.“

It is hard to describe exactly why I love The Shawshank Redemption so much. Objectively, the movie is perfect to me, but that is not the only reason I like it. The Shawshank Redemption just provides a feeling for me when I watch it; it’s hard to put into words but it is comparable to a feeling of comfort that stems from familiarity. Every character from The Shawshank Redemption feels like family to me, this may be because of the writing or it could be because I have been watching this movie for religiously for the last 9 years of my life. No matter how shitty my life gets, there is always a sense of comfort knowing that I can turn to The Shawshank Redemption, because it will always be the same.

The Shawshank Redemption is difficult for me to judge as a movie because to me it feels like a lifetime. Watching the Shawshank Redemption introduces us to Andy Dufresne, a man accused of committing a heinous crime who is sentenced to live out his years in Shawshank prison. Andy is not just a character, Andy is us. We see the prison and all of it’s intricacies through the eyes of Andy Dufresne; we live with him for a large chunk of his life. By the end of the film, we are no longer watching a character, we are experiencing these things. We cheer when things go right, we cry when things go wrong. The Shawshank Redemption is the closest thing to experiencing someone else’s life that I can imagine.

Technically The Shawshank Redemption is flawless, from the grandiose sweeping shots of the prison, to the stunning soundtrack there is not one thing I can pinpoint as poorly done. From the moment Andy arrives at Shawshank we see these beautiful shots of Shawshank and the surrounding area. We see some lovely POV shots that really emphasize the size and security of the prison which encompass the feeling of your life being taken away from you. Even later on in the film the cinematography is stupendous with tracking shots, and beautiful use of frame. The writing is stellar and the acting only sends it home. Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufresne with a subtlety that is absolutely amazing to watch. Morgan Freeman plays Red as a man who we see evolve over the years into someone completely different from the man that he was. Even things more “delicate” like jumps in time are handled very well with the character providing exposition to let us know how much time as passed, as well as subtle changes in behaviours and appearances of characters that we see.

Shawshank also delivers beautiful looks at complex characters with Brooks and Andy being almost opposites in their views. Red is the middle man who would end up like Brooks (and every other person in Shawshank) had Andy not gotten through to him. Shawshank ends with you feeling not just happy, but honestly fulfilled. Of course real life doesn’t have happy endings, but it is perfectly fine for movies to allow us to live happily thorough them.

Honestly I could talk for hours about the Shawshank Redemption, but it would just be me praising every aspect of the film which I understand is not the most thrilling thing to read. The Shawshank Redemption is a film that everyone should watch, and people who have already seen it should watch it again.

I don’t give The Shawshank Redemption a rating because anything I could give it would feel too low.

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