This profound film tells the story of an honest banker named Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) who is convicted of a double murder (back to back) and sentenced to a life time at the Shawshank State Prison in the film’s opening scenes. As his time in prison monotonously drags on Andy is introduced to the ugly realities of prison; a corrupt warden, sadistic guards, and inmates who are a little better than animals, But Andy does not crack, his intelligence and unique skills allows him to prevail behind bars and win favour with the warden and the guards. In exchange, he is able to improve the prison library and bring some dignity and respect back to many of the inmates. King’s themes continually remind the viewers of the close friendship between Red and Andy and the self-reliance both of them have created in the prison in order to stay true to their past roots in society (the black market and the entirely improved library). Darabont also weaves intricately the aspect of justice into the film and how it is portrayed through the cruel and emasculating grips of prison life. Making it dramatically satisfying, spectacular and terrifically exciting.
Friendship and loyalty are a surprising and uplifting aspect of the film as its unexpectedly compassionate and supportive relationships develop between characters whilst the film progresses. I was surprised by the film’s emphasis on friendship and loyalty; one does not normally expect to see such compassionate and supportive relationships develop between characters in films which probe the painful struggles of prison life. The mMost important of these relationships is the new prisoner Andy’s (played by Tim Robbins) friendrelationship with Red (played by Morgan Freeman), thean experienced in- mate and enterprising black market trader who becomes Andy’s mentor and supplies him with luxuries which makehave made his incarceration tolerable, and in return receives the invaluable gift of ‘hope’. One of the film’s most memorable and visually striking scenes takes place on the prison roof, where Andy has risked his safety in order to win the privilege of some cold beer for his fellow prisoners. this specific scene made me appreciate the quality and dedication Darabont applied to the film in order to express the true meaning King wished to get across. In the course of this roof scene, peaceful and serene string music is played while sunlight and panoramic views of the horizon offer an idyllic respite from the dark confines of the prison. Close-ups of the inmates’ joyous faces remind us of their individuality and humanity. If not for their shabby prison uniforms, one could easily forget their past crimes and imagine them as labourers engaged in an honest day’s work... This all shows the In these ways, the camera preserves the precious moments of