“The Shawshank Redemption,” is a prison drama film released in 1994, based on the novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.” It was directed by Frank Darabont, starring Tim Robbins as the main character “Andy Dufresne”, and Morgan Freeman as his fellow inmate and friend Red. The film tells the narrative of Andy Dufresne’s two-decade-long incarceration within the fictional penitentiary known as Shawshank and his friendship with Red. The film was nominated in seven categories at the Academy Awards. This acclaimed movie has garnered widespread recognition as a didactic masterpiece, featuring a compelling plot and profound lessons.
Andy Dufresne is falsely accused of murdering his adulterous wife and his conviction puts him behind bars. The conditions within the prison are truly horrendous. Inmates endure brutal treatment from the prison warden and guards. In addition, Andy is frequently sexually assaulted by other inmates. Even amid the harsh prison life, Andy befriends several cellmates, including Red, who can procure almost anything into the prison. After two years of incarceration, Andy happens to use his accounting expertise to assist the guards with intricate financial issues and gains the favor of the warden and the guards before long. He uses the privilege he secured not just for himself but for everyone. Andy strives to find hope within the bleak prison by expanding the library for inmates and helping them to prepare for their general educational development exam. Then one day, through a new inmate named Tommy, Andy was told about the real culprit behind his wife’s murder and seeks the warden’s help to clear his name. However, the warden, who has been exploiting Andy for money laundering, remands him to solitary confinement for two weeks. After two weeks of penalty, Andy seems to have lost all enthusiasm. However, he had burrowed a hole in the wall for 16 years and miraculously manage to break free by crawling through the sewage pipe. After Andy’s jailbreak, Red misses Andy and, despite being paroled, he struggles to become accustomed to society and sinks into depression. He recalls the promise to reunite with Andy after their release and set out on a journey to fulfill his commitment. Then they end up reuniting with an overwhelming feeling of emotion.
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
Andy and Red have opposing views when it comes to hope. Andy, after playing music for a few minutes, claims he felt hope in his heart and asserts that we should never give up hope. On the other hand, Red believes that hope drives people insane, especially within this prison in which hope appears to be worthless. Andy, even amidst bleak circumstances, continues to develop new hope and ultimately come to the fruition of that hope. Red, through his experience with Andy, comes to comprehend the genuine essence of hope. He embarks on seeking a new hope and reunites with Andy, and he consequently gains genuine freedom.
This film emphasizes the power of hope and creed. Other inmates such as Red, lose hope in tough circumstances and are tamed in prison. In contrast, Andy maintains hope and shows determination and patience, even in the despairing and agonizing situations. He refuses to succumb to the prison’s influence and consistently immerses himself in various goals. Furthermore, he endeavors to share this hope to others. Andy’s example gives a profound lesson to all who lives living in an era filled with various challenges and uncertainties. It reminds us that embracing hope and walking the own path can make aspirations come true.
By Shim Yun-seop