The Shawshank Redemption Essays

The Shawshank Redemption

AQA, the examination board, has asked selected pupils to submitwritten reports on possible films to be studied for the media sectionof the GCSE English exam, specifically of the “The ShawshankRedemption”. Write this review, aiming to show detailed understandingof Darabont’s themes and techniques, writing in an interesting,thought-provoking way.

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“I suppose it comes down to a simple choice really, get busy living orget busy dying.”

The Shawshank Redemption is a superb piece of film making fromfirst-time director Frank Darabont, made in the summer of 1994. Thismodern classic, set in the mid 20th century and based on,professional horror author, Stephen King’s 1982 novella Rita Hayworthand the Shawshank Redemption, features golden cinematography fromRoger Deakins, a touching score from Thomas Newman and is filled withimpressive acting, especially from Morgan Freeman (Red). However,possibly the most imposing character in the film, is the oppressiveShawshank State Prison itself, which looms in every scene.

The Shawshank Redemption builds considerable impact as a prison dramathat defies the conventions of the genre (violence, brutality, riots)to illustrate its theme of faith, friendship, survival and mostimportantly hope. “Fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free.”

Although The Shawshank Redemption was nominated for seven AcademyAwards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Morgan Freeman), BestAdapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best OriginalScore and Best Sound, it failed to impress and was very disappoint…

…ningto receive which is long overdue. With its call of “get busy living orget busy dying” The Shawshank Redemption is a modern fairytale thathas had success through the video rental industry. It defies thetrademarks of its genre to show Andy Dufrense’s self determination ,confidence, and hope. The film has a happy ending, that brings a tearto the eyes of its lovers. Andy’s friendship with Red shows compassionand humanity, the story of two friends who met in a high securityprison, and we reunited on a beautiful, sandy beach.

The film has a spiritual meaning, and Darabont’s flare for directinghas created a not only a cracking film, but an art form. The ShawshankRedemption creates a warm hold on our feelings because it makes us amember of a family, a family that will be remembered for a long timeto come.


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