“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying”.
I first heard about Shawshank redemption though how it rose to one of the top ranked movies and is now acclaimed as one of the world best movies despite it is an old film and premiered over two decades ago. Then, you might wonder what is so peculiar about this film, what makes it stand out.
The main casts in this film are Tim Robbins as Andy and Morgan Freeman who plays Red, as seen in the poster. i know the name ‘red’ might ring a bell for those ‘orange is the new black’ fans out there but, despite this is indeed all a prison life movie or would i call it adventures of the prison, it is totally a different case. The film starts with flash backs as Andy remembers seeing his wife cheating on him and holding a gun. Next he stands before the court and he is sentenced to life imprisonment to Shawshank’s prison for killing both his wife and lover. Despite he insisted he was innocent and that indeed he had a gun but never used it. In Shawshawk Andy remains calm while monitoring everything. soon, he gets friendly with Red who also was serving a life sentence and sold unapproved items secretly in the prison. Andy asks red for a rock hammer which he would use for sculpturing and claimed he liked calving rocks. while working in the prison laundry he would be beaten and raped by other prisoners. somehow red gets himself, Andy and a group of others prisoners to work on the prison roof where Andy overhears the head guard complaining about his taxes. As a banker, having knowledge in the field he offers to help him in exchange for some cold beer for him and his inmates. At first the guard threatens him feeling insulted but later agrees. While watching one film in the prison, Andy asks red for a picture of an actress. on returning back to the prison work, he was beaten again, a beating that hospitalised him. The guard went to the guy responsible for Andy’s condition and beat him to the state that became paralysed. this made the group to stop torturing Andy. On getting back from the hospital he finds the poster he had asked for from red.
Andy is later sent to work in the prison library and also helped with tax returns. he then decided to expand the library and wrote weekly letters to the government asking for funds which they responded to 6years later. among the books that was sent there was a recording of an operas which he played on the speakers for the entire prison to hear but, was sent to solitary confinement. a new prisoner came who on hearing Andy’s case said in his previous prison a man claimed to have killed Andy’s wife and lover. Andy runs to tell the prison warden about it but, was shocked when he was reprimanded and sent to solitary confinement again. the warden called the new prisoner and killed him. After the period in solitary the frustrated Andy tells Red that if he ever gets out of prison he should go behind a tree in a particular field and dig at the back of it and take a box but, never told him the contents of the box. Andy then asks for a rope from another inmate and goes to shine the shoes of the warden and take out his clothes. on hearing Andy took a rope Red thought Andy might have committed suicide in his cell that night. the next day Andy was missing and the warden found Andy’s shoe instead of his. the warden starts throwing the rocks in Andy’s cell and hits the poster of the actress and immediately notices a hole, he removes the poster revealing a huge tunnel. it appears that Andy had crawled through the hole he dug with the hammer to the ocean, throughout the night. all efforts to find Andy were unfruitful, as all they could find were his jail cloths . Andy somewhat assumes the identify a different man who the warden had been hiding money under and claims all the money from the bank and sent records of the wanders criminal activities to the press. the warden kills himself before he could be arrested. years later Red was set free and sometime later decided to go to the field Andy had told him of, there he found the box and in it contained a letter of Andy informing Red to join him in the pacific ocean. Red sets on a journey to the pacific and the film ends as the two reunite.
This films shows pain, grieve, examines reason, struggle for survival and what we would consider freedom. As we can see Andy did not deserve to be imprisoned but, who would have listened to his plea after all, all prisoners claim to be innocent.
Here is a scene from the movie
I’ll leave you with the very last words of Red
“I find I’m so excited that I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel. A free man at a start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.”