The Shawshank Redemption is a cinematic tour de force, plain and simple. Based off of Stephen King’s novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption”, the film follows the life of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), who is accused of murdering his wife and lover and is sent to Shawshank to complete his sentence. Through the years, he develops friendships with many of the inmates, especially Ellis Boyd Redding, aka “Red” (played by Morgan Freeman).
The acting in this film is superb. Everyone brings nuance and layered emotions to their characters, and make the viewer care for them, no matter the crime they committed. Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins shine, and their kinship is touching.
The story is incredibly emotional, and took me by surprise with how dark and heart-wrenching it sometimes became. I felt tears sting my eyes on more than one occasion, but I also laughed out loud at other points. The skill with which this movie deals with such a broad spectrum of emotions is a momentous achievement.
Frank Darabont directed a masterpiece, and captured pure emotion on film. He pulled amazing performances from his cast, and created an environment that feels claustrophobic, scary, and also weirdly homey. A must-watch film.
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