Classic Review: The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

This film remains the highest rated film on IMDB, meaning that it is basically untouchable.  And for good reason, this truly is a masterpiece. 

Certificate: 15

Director: Frank Darabont

Screenwriter: Stephen King (short story), Frank Darabont

Starring: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 142 Minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

Andy Dufresne is wrongly sentenced to life imprisonment in Shawshank Prison for a crime he did not commit.  After a particularly unpleasant start to his term, he befriends a few of his fellow inmates and uses his skills as a banker to gain special favour with the guards and prison warden.  When proof surfaces that Andy in fact did NOT kill his wife, the warden does all in his power to keep Andy locked up to ensure that he can continue to launder money for him.  When Andy realises he has been double crossed he puts a plan in motion to get his own back.

What can you really about the most highly rated film on the internet?  This film currently sits at a 9.3/10 on IMDB, the highest rating of any film.  You never really speak to anyone who doesn’t like this film.  It is a true masterpiece of cinema.  And really what is there not to like.

It carries very important messages about the positives and negatives of prisons, given that this film is set between the forties and the sixties, and so many of these issues are still prevalent now should really tell you something.  It portrays the wardens and guards as the real villains in the film, despite most of the main characters being murderers and criminals, when they get their comeuppance in the end, you don’t feel any sympathy for them, they were all horrible people.  The prisoners demonstrate more morality and human emotion then any of the prison staff.

Andy and Red are just fantastic characters, and Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman are just a joy to watch together.  They just click, their on screen chemistry is amazing.  Poor Andy really does get put through the wringer in this film, and Robbins captures it all so well.  Morgan Freeman was nominated for Oscars and Golden Globes for his performance as Red, and they were well deserved.  But I don’t think Tim Robbins got the recognition he deserved for his role in this film at the time.

It isn’t exactly a cheerful watch, it has some really intense, emotional moments.  But if by any chance you Have not seen this film, it is a must watch.  It will stay with you for a long time and you will love every second of it I guarantee. 

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