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Retro Review: “The Shawshank Redemption”

Before there was “Orange is the New Black,” there was this Stephen King adaptation.


In a time where movie studios release only big blockbuster films, it is nice to take a look at a meaningful movie from 1994.

“The Shawshank Redemption” is a film that has withstood the test of time. It is considered by many to be one the best films ever.

We follow a lawyer named Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Rollins, who is falsely accused of killing his wife and her boyfriend. He is then sent to Shawshank Prison to serve two consecutive life sentences. The film chronicles his time in prison and his interactions with the other prisoners and the prison staff.

Viewers watch the story through the eyes and perspective of longtime prisoner Red, who is played by Morgan Freeman. The friendship that develops between Andy and Red is at the heart of the film.

Red has been in prison for most of his life and is able to smuggle items in from the outside to sell to the other prisoners. When Andy opens up to Red and asks for a rock hammer, the plot starts to get moving.

I love “The Shawshank Redemption,” I would consider it one of my favorite movies of all time. The movie is shot in a way where you can pause anywhere in the movie and just by the setting itself you can get a clear meaning of what the tone of the scene is. The writing and acting are both phenomenal. Andy and Red, along with the supporting cast, both feel like real people. The movie is basically a jack of all trades.

While writing this article, I wanted to see what another student here at Malvern thought about the film. I tried to ask about what the other student disliked about the film rather than what they liked. “The only thing I disliked about the film was that time went by too fast.” Mani Venkatesh ‘20 said. “I liked the parts with the new guy, Tommy, the best.” I also wanted to ask a teacher what they thought about the film. Malvern teacher Mr. Ostick says that one part of the film that he enjoyed was the parallels the story had to the Bible.

Although the Shawshank Redemption is a prison drama, it is not a depressing film. Prison life is depicted honestly and there are some horrifying scenes.  But, the message of hope and the rewards of perseverance are strong themes. The film is shot with bright light in key scenes. This movie is for anyone who is interested in a thought provoking story.


About Aidan White

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