The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
(R) 142 mins

To be perfectly honest, I donít know what to say about this film. After thinking about it extensively, I cannot quite put my finger on why it is such a good film. Itís #2 on imdbís top 250 movies of all-time. #2! While I wouldnít quite put it that high, it is quite a good flick.

So why is that exactly? Well, I guess one could say that itís due to several good performances. At the heart of which lies Tim Robbins, who gives the performance of his career in his portrayal of Andy Dufresne. Morgan Freeman also does the same with his portrayal of Red. His speech towards the end of the film to the parole board makes it his most memorable performance. And I shouldnít leave out Bob Gunton (The Warden), Clancy Brown (Hadley) (heís the head guard), and especially James Whitmore (Brooks).

Or maybe itís the compelling story it tells. Dufresne to go through so much, and succeeds despite all of it. Red regains his hope for happiness in life. Brooks succumbs to institutionalization (oooh, big word).

Or perhaps itís the many, many memorable shots. The warden ripping down the poster will go down in my mind as one of the most memorable camera shots Iíve ever seen. Yet I can also easily recollect several others. Andy throwing his arms up as the rain pours down on him. The men in the yard still and silent, listening to the odd music coming through the speakers. Or even something as subtle as Andy staring up at Racquel Welch, a symbol of how much has changed since heíd been put in prison.

Thereís also a message in the film, about keeping hope despite odds. If you lose that hope, you become dependent on the system around you, the routine. But whatís in my mind the greatest reason why this film is so great? Because there arenít any females in it! To be honest, there is one line spoken by a female. But itís not enough to screw anything up.


Oscar Nominations
Best Picture
Best Actor (Morgan Freeman)
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Original Score
Achievement in Cinematography
Achievement in Sound
Achievement in Film Editing