In The Shawshank Redemption the film maker uses a variety of filmic techniques to position the audience and shape their responses to the characters and events of the film. Discuss. Themes: Justice, Redemption,
* Parallel - when two or more things are compared. Red and Brooks. The experiences of the men when they leave prison are paralleled (they follow the same pattern). He wants us to see the parallels between the two characters and show the effect of institutionalisation (developing the theme). We know Red well by this point in the film and we fear that he may follow the same route as Brooks. Frank Darabont also wants us to see the effect that Andy has had on Brooks. We realise that people do have choices and that Red is able to adjust in life out of prison. The director emotionally pulls us into the plight of these two characters.
* Contrast - when two or more things are different from each other. Red’s final parole hearing is different to the first two (his behaviour is different) a contrast. Contrasts are also used in the lighting and dialogue to show differences and to show the changes that this character has gone through and to show us how Andy has affected Red. To signal a change in the film and where the action is going next
* Symbol – an object which has meaning to it.
The harmonica signifies Red’s fear of hope, the rock hammer within the Bible represents freedom and salvation. Frank Darabont sways the audience to relate to the bigger ideas in the film, giving significance to events and characters.
* Structure – how the film is divided – the narrative structure The Shawshank Redemption is divided into four parts
- When Andy first arrives through to Boggs’ beating up
- The rooftop scene and the beers through to Brooks’ suicide - Through to Tommy’s death
- Andy’s escape to the end
Develops the theme of institutionalisation by showing us how Andy responds to his environment; Shock and reality, Acceptance...
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