You know, I used to call this film my favourite film ever. Then someone told me (disparagingly) that everyone says that. So I stopped saying it. Yes, I’m that easily influenced.
But, I had some friends over tonight – one of whom had never seen it – and we watched it.
I’d forgotten. It really is a beautiful film. Don’t think I’d have said that before. Think I liked it because of the twisty-clever way Andy escapes – the satisfaction that the baddies get what they deserve and because Morgan Freeman is cool. It was a cool film.
But tonight I discovered that its a movie about hope and friendship. Andy brings inmates hope through beer and music and a library… He teaches hopeless Red to hope and it pays off.
The thing is that Red’s instincts about hope being a dangerous thing is right. Andy discovers the pain of that when the only person who could prove his innocence is removed from the equation. And yet life without hope is no life at all.
“Get busy living, or get busy dying.”
A beautiful film. If you’ve never seen it, watch it immediately. If you’re pushed for time, here’s the plot in a minute… 😉
2 responses to “Rediscovering The Shawshank Redemption”
My feeling is that Shawshank is a bit of a schizophrenic movie. The first two thirds is a pretty profound movie about hope and friendship. The hope it encourages is realistic – even if you’re stuck in prison for a crime you didn’t commit, you can act with hope and bring some beauty through friendships and books and music.
But in the final third it turns into a much more predictable and much less profound movie about Holywood hope. It’s a kind of Oprah positive-thinking hope – if you believe badly enough that something will happen, then it will. If you believe you’re going to get out of prison, then you’ll find a way. Which just, isn’t, you know, true. And therefore isn’t actually hopeful at all.
So it could have been a great movie, but chickened out and ended up a good one.
So, are you saying that the concept of one person doing the impossible/implausible cannot give hope to those who can’t? Nor provide the means to a better life for those who have no such resources of their own…?