Shawshank Essay

Submitted By bushyplatypus00
Words: 733
Pages: 3

Analyse how verbal and visual features of a text you have studied are used to give audiences a strong idea.
The Shawshank Redemption directed by Frank Darabont in 1994 is a story about Andy Dufrense a man accused of murdering his wife and her lover and is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. He is shipped to Shawshank Maximum Security Prison in Maine. He finds his way to inner peace and holds on to great hope in the midst of terror of the prison regime. It is a story of hope, friendship and perseverance. The film is an allegory about holding on to a sense of personal worth in the face of dire hardship. The opening scene ‘Welcome to Shawshank conveys the strong idea of loss of hope. The director uses a variety of verbal and visual techniques to convey this strong idea, such as, camera angle, costume/colour, and music.
The scene where the audience is introduced to Shawshank shows the strong idea of loss of hope by using different camera angles (visual) to show how small the prisoners are compared to the prison. One camera angle the director uses to show loss of hope is the bird’s eye view shot where he pans over the prison showing how big the prison is. The shot shows the prisoners walking to the gate and shows how small they are compared to the walls and buildings of the prison. This shows the prisoners lack of power and loss of hope as you know they have no chance of escaping. The camera angles also link in with colour. When we see the bird’s eye view angle with the bus coming into the prison we can see that outside the grass is green and the water is blue and everything is nice colours. As soon as we enter the prison we see the big grey walls that make the prisoners look minute. The colourless walls represent the hopelessness of life in Shawshank which relates to the strong idea of loss of hope. As the bus enters the prison they leave the free and colourful world behind and enter the dull prison surrounded by giant grey walls.
In the middle scene of ‘Welcome to Shawshank’ where Andy arrives in Shawshank the director uses costume and colour (visual) to show that the prisoners are a part of the prison. He also uses a low angle shot to convey the strong idea of loss of hope. As Andy enters the prison the director uses a low angle shot to show how big the prison is. The doors fill the whole frame of the shot. This gives the viewer the impression that no one will ever escape the gothic like walls. The walls of the prison look gigantic in structure and shows