(C) Castlerock Entertainment

+ Morgan Freeman is very good as Red

+ expert cinematography

+ 1940s time period at the start – very brutal setting

+ intimidating atmosphere

+ corruption of society – especially officers/wardens

+ moral ambiguity – who is right/wrong?

+ Andy’s back story with wife and her lover

+ design of prison and of costumes

+ thoroughly absorbing – had to tear my eyes away

+ Andy as a character – pushed to the edge and cold

+ superb shots

+ script is great – clever, witty, keeps you guessing

+ corrupt justice – Bogg’s story

+ deals with serious issues such as rape, but is sensitive and never gratituous

+ friendship between Andy and Red: “No charge. Welcome back”

+ characters pushed to the edge – Brooks

– sound is a bit dodgy – occasionally doesn’t match up to mouths

+ “They send ya here for life, and that’s exactly what they take”

+ Tragedy of Brooks was very moving

+ Andy’s rebellion with the record player – freedom and beauty – even if it is short-lived

+ constant rejection of Red at tribunal – never changes (little did I know!)

+ library – touching tribute to Brooks

+ Andy’s character develops – becomes less honest – fraud charges

+ Time passes on the outside, but in Shawshank nothing changes

+ Andy emulates the inmates as the film progresses

– hard to comprehend passing of time – decades pass in minutes

+ Tommy’s betrayal and death – harsh reality of life in Shawshank

+ shared dream between Andy and Red

+ mystery – what is buried?

+ Andy becomes hollow and empty – character development

+ The warden is twisted and calculating

+ Andy’s genius digging plan

+ flashbacks add to clarity

+ effective music – shrill tones add to tense scenes, but is very uplifting and triumphant in others

+ Andy’s escape – one of the most iconic scenes in cinema – and rightly so

+ design differences between time periods on the outside

+ Warden gets what he deserves – salvation lies within

– plot spoilt slightly due to oversaturation of pop culture references

+ Warden’s suicide – I did not see that coming

+ bond between Andy and Red – Andy’s third act monologue is quite moving

+ Morgan Freeman is on FIRE – easily a career best, even for such a seasoned actor

– a few plot points were a tad predictable

+ theme of hope and deception

+ all the characters hope for something – with varying results

In our review, we gave The Shawshank Redemption 9 out of 10. You can read it here.


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