The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

by EHL Movie Reviews

On its initial release, “The Shawshank Redemption” barely made enough at box office to cover the production costs of the film and ultimately was at the time, a box office failure. Oh boy how time will tell, now regarded one of the best films ever made this film has clearly got better with age, a real testament to everyone that worked on this movie, a movie which now stands the test of time.

It follows the story of two prisoners Andy Defresne (Tim Robbins) and Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ (Morgan Freeman), and the bond they build over many a year inside the walls of Shawshank prison. The story line is pretty slow going, for some movies this would never work, the way in which the storyline develops through this movie makes the slowness of this easily bearable, and actually gives the film more, you really get the feeling of the time you have spent with these characters inside these walls. The character building throughout this was fantastic, you become connected to every character you meet, even the ones that don’t get a lot of screen time e.g. Brooks and Tommy, this really shows how well thought out this storyline was.

Always in addition to the character building, there has to be a good script. This script was compelling, every single exchange, small comment and even the narrating over the top of the film made this film interesting and just irresistible to watch. The narrating throughout, done by Morgan Freeman for the most part, added that extra depth to this already outstanding script.

Many an actor was considered for the main role of Andy Dufrense, now you really couldn’t think of anyone else in this role. His performance was so professional, a meticulously put together piece of acting that really showed how much he cared to get every single thing right. The rest of the cast was also fantastic, the casting for this movie was perfect, the acting had so much depth from bonding and conflict, it all worked so well.

When being inside a prison, you wouldn’t of thought that the visuals in this film would be so good, but they are strangely beautiful, the way in which the camera pans around or captures the life inside this horrible place is a great achievement in cinematography. The score for this movie also adds so much, so cleverly used in the background to accompany the story line and script, just another fantastic touch added to make this film great.

For a film that was essentially labelled a box office flop, this has stood the test of time and become an all-time classic of the cinematic world. Every element of this was placed carefully together, like a puzzle, to create a masterpiece of filmmaking that everyone should experience.