Based on the short story “Rita Hayworth” by Stephen King, “The Shawshank Redemption” claims an all-star cast and an ingenious plot.
In this tale of hope, fear and wishful thinking, Tim Robbins conquers all with his incredible performance as Andy Dufresne, a respectable banker convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. Although pleading not guilty, Dufresne receives a life sentence to Shawshank. There, he befriends Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman). Red is a respected inmate who knows how to work the system. Their bond quickly grows and Andy becomes respected by many inmates and even some of the guards.
In time, Andy gets used to his new living arrangement, but still has hope that he will leave Shawshank. He reminds Red to be hopeful, but Red is less optimistic. “Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane,” he tells Andy.
Although there are some violent scenes, they give the movie a sense of balance, and the audience is left with a sense of hope.
See this movie not just for entertainment, but for education - it offers a look at prisons and the corruption behind closed doors. This film left me with a sense of warmth, hope and curiosity, and will do the same for anyone.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.