The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption

by Mark Kermode

This study traces the history of "The Shawshank Redemption" and draws on interviews with writer/director Frank Darabont and leading players Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. The book also explores the near-religious fervour that the film inspires in a huge number of devoted fans.

  • Series: BFI Film Classics
  • Language: English
  • Category: Culture
  • Rating: 4.41
  • Pages: 96
  • Publish Date: August 26th 2003 by British Film Institute
  • Isbn10: 0851709680
  • Isbn13: 9780851709680

What People Think about "The Shawshank Redemption"

For example, Kermode writes, "Although Darabont has subsequently informed me that no such parallels were intended, it is possible (should one so wish) to find powerful echoes of the Last Supper in the roof-tarring scene:...a head-count of the inmates depicted in this sequence clearly reveals thirteen prisoners on the roof...More strikingly still, both King's source and Darabont's adaptation make it clear that, having provided the blessed beer, 'Only Andy didn't drink', a detail which fits neatly with the biblical descriptions of Jesus blessing, giving, but crucially not partaking of the wine..." (32). However, when you study this scene in terms of the bigger-picture impact it has on the course of the film in comparison to what the last supper meant, and how it impacted the bigger-picture ministry of Jesus Christ, the parallels break down (and to be noted, some of the parallels that I listed above Kermode doesn't even go into.) Excuse me for getting theological, but some clarification on the first communion need to be made. The last supper was about Jesus Christ breaking bread and taking wine as a symbol for the giving over of His body and blood (meaning his death on the cross) for the disciples, and essentially the world, and the promise that we too would have to go to this cross if we were to believe in Him. As Christ's blood bound together the disciples in that moment, so would Christ's blood, shed through the giving of his follower's lives by way of the cross, bind together the Church in the future. And also, Kermode's second claim that Jesus didn't drink from the cup at first communion isn't as clearly stated in the gospels as he would have you believe. Much of the book gives analysis in the same way: concentrating on very specific, seemingly correct, but ultimately superficial connections between the movie and the Christian worldview. Kermode gives an interesting interpretation having to do with the church of cinema and how Dufresne escapes through that and also gives a lot of little interesting tidbits about the movie along the way.

However, when hope gradually disappeared, we would finally get accustomed to the life there and gave up the idea to escape. While others are thinking about what to do in the night, you may dream of you life ten years later on the sunny beach of Florida. When later you can actually stand on the beach of Florida, laughing at those when once laughed at you.

This time as opposed to being entertained I looked for the life lessons. Yes, I hated the manner in which the inmates hurt Andy. Yes, when I saw the movie I marveled at the relationship developed between Red and Andy. One lesson was: no matter what state you are in....when people look with their heart...they see YOU. The same inmates who took advantage of Andy came to see how knowledgeable and necessary he was for them (i.e renovating the library and helping them to finally have a place of solace....even while being incarcerated).

Eventually getting to how Andy Dufresne pulled of the greatest prison escape of all time. You as the reader get to see Andy through the eyes of those around him and the story makes this workincredibly well. Anyone who isn't much of a reader or just really likes a revenge story should definitely give this a read.