The movie, The Shawshank Redemption (1994), is based on a character Andy Dufresne. Andy is a young and successful banker who is sent to Shawshank Prison for murdering his wife and her secret lover. His life is changed drastically upon being convicted and being sent to prison. He is sent to prison to serve a life term. Over the 20-years in prison, Andy retains optimism and eventually earns the respect of his fellow inmates. He becomes friends with Red, and they both comfort and empathize with each other while in prison.
The story has a strong message of hope, spirit, determination, courage, and desire. Eventually, Andy and Red achieve their own dreams of freedom from isolation, from law, from racism and hate. The film’s storytelling, acting, cinematography, editing, sound, and other critical analysis is fantastic and makes for an outstanding movie. I will explain how all of these cinematic components contribute to one of my all-time favorite movies, and how the poignant message of hope and freedom are conveyed through the storyline. The Shawshank Redemption is a Stephen King inspired motion picture.
It is a production of Castle Rock Pictures and in my opinion is one of the best filmed adapted versions of Stephen King books. The screenplay is written by Frank Darabont based on “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” by Stephen King. The cast of the movie is Tim Robbins (as Andy Dufresne), Morgan Freeman (as Ellis Boyd Redding, aka Red), Bob Gunton (as the crooked warden), William Sadler (as an associate prisoner), Clancy Brown (as a cruel guard), and Gil Bellows (as Tommy Williams). It was directed by Frank Darabont and produced my Niki Marvin. Additionally, the cinematography is by Roger Deakins, and the music is by Thomas Newman.
The film provides some interesting narrative elements. The plot is centered on a wrongly convicted man who is sent to the Shawshank prison for life and follows his experiences while in the prison. In the setup (act one), the film is set during the years of 1947-1966. Andy is sent to prison despite claiming his innocence. He has a tough time at first but then eventually starts to meet friends. The film is narrated by Red. Red is a lifelong prisoner of the Shawshank Prison since the age of 19 and is considered a man who can get anything you need. Throughout the film he gets prisoners cigarettes, tools, and food.
Eventually, Andy meets Red because he is in need of tool that carves and shapes stones (rock hammer). The two eventually befriend each other. The second act, the conflict during this time Andy has to fight off gay gangs within the prison walls who want to rape him. He does a good job of fighting them off but eventually needs help from the prison guards. Andy befriends the prison guards by doing all of their taxes and in return they provide him with protection. This now leads to the warden wanting the services of Andy to keep the books of the prison “neat”.
Andy realizes that the warden is up to “shady” business practices and that the warden is using him for his cheap labor. Andy does about 20-year of prison time when a character named Tommy arrives to the prison. Tommy holds the key to Andy’s freedom because he is in knowledge that Andy is actually innocent (based on a story he was told when he roomed with another prisoner). The warden finds this out about Tommy plan to leak the information to the public and Tommy killed because the warden doesn’t want Andy to every leave the prison because of how much money Andy is making the warden for his dishonest business deals.
The third act or resolution is that eventually Andy ends up escaping from prison by digging a hole in the wall that must of took about 20-years. Andy sets up the warden to get arrested by the FBI and Andy takes about $370,000 dollars of the warden’s dirty money. In the conclusion of the film, Andy travels to Mexico, where Red eventually is freed from prison and is given a set of instructions on where to meet up with Andy in Mexico. In the film’s final scene the two meet up and are free from their life of isolation, law, hate, and racism.
The film has some additional storytelling that I would like to discuss. The Shawshank Redemption is done in chronological order, but there are some parts when the characters flash back to earlier times in their live so you can understand what is happening in the film. This is done so the viewer still has an easy way to follow the movie. The characters of the film face both internal and external conflict. The internal conflict is should I continue this life when I know I am innocent, and the external conflict is from the prison, the prisoners, and the prison staff. The film does contain symbolism.
An example of the symbolism is when the warden learns of his fate and his last judgment by reading the morning newspaper of himself and the prison being corrupt. Additionally, symbolism is used with the holy bible the warden reads; when he finds the hammer that Andy uses to dig out of the prison. There is a passage from Exodus that is used to symbolize the warden’s salvation and Andy’s escape. Also, there is a metaphor that I remember and it happens when the librarian (Brooks Hatlen) is freed from jail and he takes his own life. At the same time he hangs himself his bird (Jake) fly’s away and is freed.
The metaphor is that the librarian is free of his lifelong nightmare of being told what to do, and so is his bird is flying away representing freedom. The film also has irony and an example of the irony in the movie is that Andy hides his method of escaping or freedom (rock hammer) inside the bible that Warden Norton did not check when he was checking his cell. I feel the characters do help the storyline and the film does address the universal truths of hope. An example of the universal truth of hope is that Andy uses the “hope” many times in the movie when talking to Red. The acting in this film was outstanding.
I mentioned earlier who the actors were and what roles they played, but I didn’t do it in depth about the style of acting that was used. The film is filled with stars like Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. I consider both actors character actor. The book describes a character actor as an actor that can fit into many different roles seamlessly (Goodykoontz & Jacob, 2011). Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins can defiantly be described as character actors. Their characters as Andy and Red are way different from any other role they have played. I feel that method acting was used by the actors too.
I was so convinced of the acting and that each actor was truly immersed in the role they were trying to portrait; that’s how good the acting was. The director did a great job on casting the actors for each character in the story. The viewer had no difficulty understanding the role of the character and if he fit the part. I believe the movie was up for a lot of Academy Awards and this is a tribute to the acting and directing. The cinematography of The Shawshank Redemption was done again by Roger Deakins and was so good that he was nominated for the 1995 Academy Award for Best Cinematography.
I consider the movie a work of art. The film uses many different camera shots to make it work to perfection. The camera is used for long shots, close ups, and medium shots toward the characters which creates a feeling of intimacy so the audience can feel what the character feels. Some of the shots that were used are from wide angles, high angles, eye level close ups, and this all give the viewer many takes on how the prison looked and also the characters. The lightening in the film is very important. Some of the lighting used in the movie is from natural light, or from a lack there of.
This gives the character a lot of shadows and makes them seem beaten down from all the years of serving time. Additionally, I believe low-key lighting is used a lot in this film. This style of lighting is based upon high–contrast lighting dominated by deep shadows with a few bright highlights (Goodykoontz & Jacob, 2011). This type of lighting contributes to a dehumanizing effect, which is what spending 20-years in prison will do to you. The films editing is done so the story is easy to follow and is arranged in chronological order so it unfolds from the beginning to end.
Most of the major types of transitions between shots are direct cuts, which is where one shot instantaneously replace another (Goodykoontz & Jacob, 2011). Continuity editing was mainly used in the movie so the movie has the illusion that everything is happening in a continuous time and space. The film also contained a lot of varying shot lengths so the viewer could feel the details of the scene. The duration of the cuts varied so you could feel the emotion of the characters and the shifting dynamic of the scenes.
For example, when Andy escapes from the prison; at the beginning of when he escapes there are not many cuts but after he is free there are a lot of cuts when they show the warden and how he feels when the FBI are coming to arrest him. This shows all of the action that is happening with the prison guards and when the warden is about to kill himself. The sound of the film is very present throughout the entirety. The score was composed by Thomas Newman and he was nominated for an Academy award for Best Original Score. A lot of the film was done with sound effect, music, and the narration of Morgan Freeman.
The main sound effect or music was done in a dark tone of piano. This gives you the feeling of being locked up and feeling fear of the unknown. Also, the sound effects give you the understanding of what it’s like being in a prison. You hear cells close, people beaten by clubs, yelling by prison guards. At the end of the film Andy plays the opera when he locks himself in the warden’s office. He plays Sull’ Aria so the entire prison can hear it, and the meaning behind it is that all of the prisoners felt like they were at an opera for those 10-minutes; the feeling that they were free.
The societal impact of the film was deep. The meaning to me was that there is always hope no matter what happens in your life, and that our court system isn’t always correct. Watching the film mades me escape from real life for the two hours of viewing time, and also wrapped me into the character of the film and their conflicts. There are real life stories that we hear all the time about wrongfully convicted people going to prison and serving many years for something they didn’t do only to be released. This film is a real life image of what is happening in the world.
We need to take a closer look at the evidence at hand when arresting someone and we better make sure that we have the correct convicts or we will have more horror stories like this happening. I believe this film falls in a subgenre of crime and dramatic narrative. It fits in crime because of the “crime of murder” and the consequences of going to prison. The dramatic narrative because of Morgan Freeman’s narrative regarding the drama that is involved in the film. It is not easily categorized because of how the film ends and because of the films theme, which is fear can hold you prisoner and hope can set you free (IMDB 1994).
The film’s cinematographer’s Frank Darabont and Roger Deakins have a rich history of making great classical films. I believe they used the formalist and realist approach when making the Shawshank Redemption. These guys were really concerned with the films form. The reason why I say this is because the film focuses on the narrative elements, and has a strong plot structure. The film’s mise en scene, camera technique, editing, and sound were all a big consideration when developing this film and which I highlighted in my essay. They were all done superbly.
Regarding the realist approach, the film could be based on reality of what the character Andy and Red, and what the others are feeling. Watching the movie I could feel the relief of Andy being free after he broke out of prison. Additionally, I could feel the anxiety of Red not being freed from prison after his parole hearings. Lastly, I could feel the emotion of not knowing what to do other than to kill himself (Warden Norton) after the FBI was coming to arrest him. I watched this movie about 50 times in my life and it took me a lot of time to understand what the filmmakers were trying to communicate.
In conclusion, this is one of my all time favorite movies and one of the best films ever made. The films theme or message of hope, spirit, determination, courage, and desire is truly felt by the viewer and is conveyed through the films cinematography. The films storytelling, acting, editing, sound, genre, and impact on society are all part of why the Shawshank Redemption is such a fantastic cinematic piece. All I have to say, is if you haven’t see it you should, and if you have seen it, I would hope you agree with me.
Examine the extent to which new planning theories have emerged and replaced the previous dominant theories since the start of the twentieth century.
Examine the extent to which new planning theories have emerged and replaced the previous dominant theories since the start of the twentieth century..
Chose one essay to write on from the list below. This assignment should normally be in the range 2,000 words. Credit will be given for clear, concise, logically structured and properly referenced work (references and bibliography essential). Please note that these essay questions do not necessarily require a long descriptive or historical chronology to be answered. Credit will be given for essays that focus on the critical evaluation of issues emerging from this contextual and background material. Use of relevant case studies as evidence to support arguments is encouraged. 1. Critically review the legacy of planning ideas developed in the hundred years before the First World War on planning practice in the hundred years after the First World War. 2. Examine the extent to which new planning theories have emerged and replaced the previous dominant theories since the start of the twentieth century. 3. Campbell and Fainstein (2003, p.3) argue that a defining framework in planning theory is the duality between planning and the market. Illustrate and assess how ‘public interest’ has been defined and delivered through each of the main paradigms of planning theory since the 1940s.
Essay Help “>Essay Help