The Shawshank Redemption

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‘The Shawshank Redemption’, directed by Frank Darabont tells the story of Andy Dufresne, who is falsely accused and imprisoned for the murder of his wife and her lover and is sent the Shawshank prison. Darabont uses many important scenes throughout the film to show certain key ideas and themes to the viewer. He uses camera shots, lighting, voice-over and dialogue to help develop these ideas of freedom. One of the key scenes in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is the rooftop scene which uses a number of these film techniques.

An important technique used in the rooftop scene is the range of camera shots. It shows the prisoners all in one frame drinking beers. The camera in the scene has used a wide shot technique to show the contrast between the expansion of the roof and the confinement of the jail. The audience is used to seeing the prisoners either in their cramped cells or out in the court yard where it’s still quite crowded. Seeing them lying down, looking relaxed on top of the prison is an important part in conveying the scenes idea of liberty. Another camera shot used in this scene is a close up shot of Andy sitting by himself while watching the other prisoners drink beer. This particular shot is used to show the emotions on the characters face and in this case it shows Andy looking content as he has brought freedom to the other prisoners. The fact that he is sitting away from the rest of the prisoners shows that he is different; he retains hope and wants to retain a sense of freedom. The last camera shot I have analysed is when we hear Red’s voice over the camera is on Red but he is seen with the guards in the background blurred over his shoulder. This technique shows that no matter how ‘free’ you feel, there will always be the ‘institutionalised’ mentality to these prisoners. Aw for the audience, you also feel sorry for the prisoners. Even though they aren’t in their cells, the guards watching them in the background gives you the feeling that they’re still...
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