In recent times, few films have left such an indelible imprint on my psyche as “Shawshank Redemption”(1994). Adapted from the novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” by Stephen King, the film is miles away from what the author is known for. It was the Directorial debut of Frank Darabont, also known for “The Green Mile” (1999). King is known to have granted the rights to Darabont after the latter impressed him with a short film adaptation of another of King’s stories, “The Woman in The Room” (1983).
“Shawshank” begins with Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a Bank Exec accused with murder of his wife and her lover. Inspite of his pleas, the Jury is convinced of his hand in the crime and sentences him with Life Imprisonment.
Andy is sent to Shawshank State Penitentiary. Here we meet some of the most adorable crooks ever in the history of Hollywood; we see Red (Morgan Freeman) – narrator and backbone of the film, Heywood (William Sadler), and Brooks (James Whitmore). Initially, Andy mostly keeps to himself, preferring his solitude to the company of fellow inmates. As time passes though , he gradually befriends Red and the others. Red, though visibly older than Andy, can’t help feel admiration and awe for him. What follows is an extraordinary journey spanning 19 years of Andy’s life at Shawshank – a journey that talks about hope, sticking to one’s guns, and (literally) light at the end of the tunnel.
Freeman shines and dazzles as he guides you through the maze. Tim Robbins gives a career defining performance as Andy. Not to mention, a host of supporting characters make you watch and revisit the film again and again…truly inspiring!
Absolutely recommended for an uplifting experience when life is not exactly roses and strawberries.