Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’, Or write a new blog post, that works too.
Director: Frank Darabont
Writer: Frank Darabont & Stephen King
Release Date: 1994
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins, Bob Gunton and William Sadler
A true all time classic movie, The Shawshank Redemption has a premise that originally I thought would make it quite predictable, an innocent man is sent to prison, redemption in the name.. I felt like I could see where it was going. However what I didn’t reckon for was the striking realism of this environment. Prison is a harsh place and the harsh reality was present unfiltered and unaltered. This was a brave choice and one that pays off in spades, allowing you to fully emphasise with Tim Robbins’ Andy, and truly understand what he is going through.
In addition to this a further string to the bow of Shawshank is the surprising emotional heft, I personally was not expecting to be as emotionally effected as I was and yet through the character of Brooks, I was exposed to a side of incarceration that I was not really aware of and also the extreme effect it can have on a prisoner. This of course leads to one of the most moving deaths in cinematic history.
As previously mentioned, the narrative seemed initially to be fairly straight forward and yet, the realistic passage of time portrayed in the movie serves to disrupt this. By having Andy spend 10 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, the film got me used to the idea that he would serve his sentence. Indeed when the true culprit was found but escaped justice I thought that the story would pivot to a revenge plot, however when Andy’s successful escape happens I was surprised and pleased, with a story that seems depressing, The Shawshank Redemption manages to end on a surprisingly positive note.
Shawshank was nominated for 7 Oscars including the prestigious Best Picture award and so contemporary reception was fantastic. Furthermore this has continued into current times with Shawshank placing #1 on IMDB’s top rated films.
Shawshank holds a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes showing the huge critical love for the film. It holds an audience score of 98% further exemplifying the success of this film.
Empire gave Shawshank 5 stars and ranked it at number 4 in their all time list, which, after having seen the film, I can thoroughly agree with.