“…I still love this movie more than life itself.”
It’s about the time that I write about Shawshank again, but I’m not really in the right headspace.
As I’m writing this I’m sitting drunk in front of my computer watching the movie for the umpteenth time, and I don’t really know what to say anymore. I initially wanted these posts to be a look into my life, but then I realized that may be to personal (and morbid) a topic for this platform. So I pivoted to make it constantly about the movie.
I guess if I had to talk about one aspect of Shawshank this year it would be to applaud the presentation of prison life. The movie does a good job of conveying not only the routine nature and monotony of life in prison but also the real horrors.
The routine aspects take shape in the pattern of the film. A lot of Shawshank, especially in the beginning, is pretty pattern-ridden. The scenes kind of mimic one another and you start to sense what is going to come next. Of course this changes with the introduction of the roofing job and then doesn’t really come back., but after that point nothing is really routine. Andy becomes a huge part of life at Shawshank and he changes everything for the better. But its those beginning sections that I cherish for how well they illustrated just how monotonous prison life can be.
I also really enjoyed how dangerous Shawshank was made out to be. Andy encounters terrible things while in prison, but the horrors go way beyond the ones on the surface. Shawshank not only illustrates the dangers of unwanted sexual intercourse in a prison environment, but we also see other horror like abuse of power and removal of what makes you you. In the opening scene in the prison we see Red conform to be something he’s not. Something that everyone on the parole board wants to see. It’s becasue that is what he has been conditioned to do.
Their entire time at Shawshank these men are being forced to act the way the warden sees fit, and if they step out of line you can be sure that Hadley will be there to beat them within an inch of their life. Andy sees this first hand during the roofing “accident”, and also during his first night in the prison when ‘Chubby Fatass’ is beaten to death.
After that scene Andy is the only one who cares if the man had a real name, and he is looked at as strange becasue of it. This shows that Andy, despite being in an environment where being yourself is a very dangerous game, continues to care about who people really are. And he continues to do so until the end of the movie.
I don’t know if I can continue on without rambling considering I am fairly intoxicated, but just know that I still love this movie more than life itself.