The movie “The Shawshank Redemption”, directed by Frank Darabont, is a movie adaptation of the novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”. It’s a prison drama about hope and the related issues of freedom and redemption. The director uses features such as colour, lighting and music to help us understand these ideas.
At the start of the movie, we see the main character Andy Dufresne being accused for murdering his wife and her lover. The director uses a flash back and we see Andy’s wife in a red dress. The red dress is used to represent the passion she has for her lover. It also shows her sinful ways. Red is again used in the scene where Tommy is killed. The Warden offers Tommy a cigarette. The cigarette packet is red, this foreshadows Tommy’s death. In the prison the colours are very grey and blue. This reflects the emotions of the prisoners and shows how dull and lifeless the place is. We see blue again at the end of the film, but this blue is strong and vibrant. It is the blue of the Pacific Ocean. This represents Andy’s rebirth and redemption.
Music is used to help show us Darabont’s idea of freedom and institutionalisation. Andy deliberately disobeys the warden and plays “The Marriage of Figaro” on the large speakers. He is severely punished for this and is sent into “the hole”. As the music is playing, all the prisoners stop what they are doing as they are awed by the beautiful voices of the Italian women. This gives the prisoners freedom as it brings back memories and takes them to a place outside of the prison. It gives them hope that someday they might be free of this prison. When Andy is sent to the hole, he says that he took the music down there with him. He had the music in his head and it gave him hope. This hope helped him survive throughout the following years in the prison.
Lighting is used to help reinforce the...