The Shawshank Redemption

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The Shawshank Redemption: Two Thumbs Up!

James Hall
English 1020 Research and Argumentative Writing
Professor Smith
October 22nd, 2012

The Shawshank Redemption: Two Thumbs Up!
I believe that The Shawshank Redemption is a remarkable movie, and it certainly gets two thumbs up from me. This film, directed by Frank Darabont in 1994, is based off Stephen King’s Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, which I strongly suggest you to read as well. After the innocent defendant, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), is found guilty for murdering his wife and her lover, he is sentenced to two life terms without parole at Shawshank Prison located in Maine. While in prison, Dufresne meets a variety of people including, Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding played by the renowned Morgan Freeman. Over the years, Andy and Red develop a close friendship between each other by tarring the roof of the prison together, building a chess set, or having in depth conversations. They also encounter a variety of scenarios with other prisoners or even Warden Norton, played by Bob Gunton. During these scenarios, Dufresne and Red truly get to know each other. Spoiler alert: After all of these situations, Andy Dufresne escapes from Shawshank Prison to arrive in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Then the finale is when Red breaks parole and finds his friend, Andy. The Shawshank Redemption is an amazing film with extraordinary acting, cinematography, music, and themes.

First off, I want to address the remarkable acting throughout The Shawshank Redemption with Morgan Freeman as Red. Red is one of those characters that everyone should know very well by the end of the movie because he is the kind of guy who can get you things. In the film, Freeman gets to say lines such as, “I’m the man who can get you things, a toothbrush, a bottle of brandy to celebrate your son’s graduation, a bag of reefer (if that’s you’re thing), I can get you damn near anything” (Darabont). With just the tone of his voice, he portrays Red’s character just perfectly, even though Freeman is an African American, and the character Red is an Irishman with red hair in King’s 1982 novel. Freeman easily pulled it off though with his voice for countless scenes and his narration throughout the film, or even lines like, “I’m the only guilty man in Shawshank” (Darabont). But Red isn’t the main character in The Shawshank Redemption; however Andy Dufresne is the main character.

The role of Andy Dufresne is played by none other than Tim Robbins. Mr. Robbins portrays Durfresne very vividly from the beginning to the end of this film. Dufresne must encounter some extreme issues while in the prison, and in my opinion most actors wouldn’t be able to represent the role of Andy as well as Tim Robbins does time and time again, be it the fights before a group of fellow inmates rape him all the way to how he teaches countless prisoners high school efficiency in the library Dufresne himself help create. And Maslin agrees with me here as she discusses, “Andy does special fiscal favors for the warden” (Paragraph 7). While in the movie, Robbins says, “You know, the funny thing is, on the outside I was an honest man, straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook” (Darabont). Just the tone he uses here is hysterical because it is so very true. Not only was there great acting throughout this movie, but the cinematography.

Cinematography is known as the art or even science of making a movie, and throughout The Shawshank Redemption, one can see endless amounts of art and science. For example, in 2007, Katie Phillips discusses the camera angle from which the guards are shot from, “they are shot from low angles for much of the film to give the impression that they are powerful” (Paragraph 3). And then she will compare that to the angle of the prisoners’ camera appearances by stating, “Conversely, the prisoners are often shot from high angles, sometimes even bird's eye views, to convey their...
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