19 Apr 2014

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

“Guess it comes down to a simple choice really. Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

Easily one of the most underrated movies ever made, The Shawshank Redemption is at first a touching, uplifting drama of a man accused of murdering his wife and her lover.

Some directors are remembered by that one film they made, and at the time of writing, Frank Darabont is yet to make a more unforgettable film. Yes, he did make The Green Mile (1999), but what makes The Shawshank Redemption a classic is its quietly kaleidoscopic human procession of vulnerability, lopsidedness, perversion, wickedness, death, hope, hopelessness, despair and the triumph of spirit. The finale is believable, tangible and gets under your skin. It gets you because the celluloid fiction of superheroes, supernatural elements, war scenes and comedies do entertain, but rarely elevate to mirror life as it has been, is lived. This film is that rare bird song that brims with new tidings each time you hear it.

Apart from other laudatory things, watch out for career-defining turns by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.


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