Adapted from ‘Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption’ by Stephen King; directed by Frank Darabont, The Shawshank Redemption is an ode to hope, an ode to aspiration and of course an ode to a dream. The classic movie pursues Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) during his 19 years of time and how he manages to escape the blatant dungeons of the Shawshank prison. As the title says, the movie is about redemption but moving along, one realises it’s also about keeping calm, faith and loyalty. There’s nothing lavish or plush in the movie, but perhaps, that’s what it takes to keep engaged to a story of two men who are not sophomores but are serving life sentences in prison. It’s indeed not about the hardships, but about the suave friendship that blossoms in the black hole.
The narrator of the story- Red (Morgan Freeman) is apparently an unbiased businessman of the prison. He swallows pride in accepting himself as the man to whom you’ll go when you are in need of cigarettes, candy or tools that a geologist may require! He is the lifer whose contentment is happiness. During the movie, he keeps on trying for his parole but gets it only at the end. As per the ritual, he puts his bet on Andy and his tears. Gradually, he loses his cigarettes! Red narrates for all the prisoners and thus, revealing what goes in their inside! As the curtains are unveiled, it becomes clear that the story isn’t about riots of a prison, but the escape of a banker who spends ‘time’ for murdering his wife and her lover.
Stubborn by nature, Andy keeps his secret to himself only. Although, via Red, the audience too keep an eye on Andy and monitors what he’s upto, still not one can guess the revelations that the story takes. His escape is one of the legendary escapes that have been witnessed. The story is garnished by the piquant elements of excitement, suspense and a few to be called as heydays, though not when expected! The presence of varying characters such as Brooks and the warden go along with the story. Emotions and sentiments are once again flown when at the end; Red violates his parole and reunites with his friend Andy.
There’s a reason that this seven-times-Oscar-nominated movie is an unquestioned leader of IMDB’s top 250 movies. It ain’t a depressing story of violence in jail, but of redemption and warmth developed between Andy’s and Red’s friendship over the course of time. The movie may appear to be slightly out-of-the-picture in between, but that’s just to give an adrenaline rush and goosebumps when the magnificent escape or redemption takes place!