Film Review of
The Shawshank Redemption
Release dates: September 23, 1994(U.S.)
Running time: 142 min
Budget: $25 million
Box office: $28.3 million (North America)
Released in 1994, two decades ago, the film The Shawshank Redemption is rather old yet far form old-fashion. It is a film that ages well, that does not date, that stands the test of time and that becomes the living example of the absolute best. And the excellent film is worth a recommendation. The Shawshank Redemption is adapted from horror master Stephen King's1 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (first published in Different Seasons), directed by American Frank Darabont,2 and starred by Tim Robbins3 andMorgan Freeman4. It is a story about hope, redemption, freedom and institutionalization, from which audience can witness a wonderful silent fightback against the miserable fate and a perfectly brilliant turnround of life left for hopelessness. It is common for people to evaluate a film by its box office reception, but I am assuring that audience will fail on this piece. To be frank, the film in 1994 received a rather lukewarm box office and in 1995 outshone by Forrest Gump5 and Pulp Fiction6, got no spotlight on the Oscar but seven nominations. Then something strange happened. “Then something strange happened. A movie that had underperformed at the box office and gone unrewarded at the Academy Awards grew quietly but steadily into a hit on video. And not even a cult hit: within a few years, The Shawshank Redemption was a full-blown phenomenon.” (Sunday Times, 2004) Since its release, the film is ranked #1 in IMDb's “Top 250” list based on over a million votes (9.2 out of 10) and is considered one of the best movies of all time.7 It was also included in the American Film Institute's 100 Years (100 Movies 10th Anniversary Edition) by ranking #72, even outranking the Forrest Gump (#76) and Pulp Fiction (#93).8 In 1947, accused of murdering his wife and her lover, banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to life imprisonment in Shawshank Prison, where he meets Ellis Boyd Redding (Morgan Freeman). Red, serving a life sentence, is a smuggler in Shawshank, the one who is able to get whatever people want. In one month in prison, Andy orders with Red a rock hammer to create small stone chess pieces. In 1949, Andy overhears the chief guard Byron Hadley (Clancy Brown) complaining about taxes on a coming inheritance and informs him a financial loophole. After it, Hadley severely beats Bogs (Mark Rolston), leader of the “bull queer” gang “the Sisters” that regularly assaulted Andy, resulting in his being sent to another prison. Subsequently, Warden Samuel Norton reassigns Andy to the prison library to assist elderly inmate Brooks Hatlen (James Whitmore), a pretext for Andy to manage financial duties for the prison. In 1954, Brooks is freed on parole, but failing to adjust to the society after 50-year life in prison, he hangs himself. In 1963, Norton begins to have Andy launder the money using the alias “Randall Stephens”. In 1965, Tommy Williams (Gil Bellows) is incarcerated for burglary. He joins Andy's and Red's circle of friends, and Andy helps him pass his General Educational Development (G.E.D.) examinations. In 1966, Tommy tries to prove innocence of Andy yet gets killed by Norton. After it, Andy tells Red of his dream life in Zihuatanejo, a Mexican Pacific coastal town and instructs him, should he ever be freed, to visit a specific hayfield near Buxton to retrieve a package. The next day at roll call, Norton finds that Andy has fled the previous night through a tunnel that Andy had dug with his rock hammer over the previous two decades. Andy, posing as Randall Stephens, withdraws the laundered money and sends the ledger and evidence of the corruption and murders. Norton finally commits suicide to avoid arrest. After serving 40 years, Red receives parole. He violates the parole and travels to Fort Hancock, Texas to...
References: Isaac M. Morehous. (2008). Daily: Stop Worrying about the Election. Retrieved December 16, 2014, from the offical website of Mises Daily.
Owen Gleiberman. (1994). Movies: The Shawshank Redemption. Retrieved December 16, 2014, from the offical website of Entertainment Weekly.
Roger J. Ebert. (1994). The Shawshank Redemption. Retrieved December 16, 2014, from the offical website of Roger Joseph Ebert http://www.rogerebert.com/
Sunday Times. (2004). Film: Why are we still so captivated?. Arts & Entertainment. Retrieved December 16, 2014, from the offical website of Times.
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