As any Stephen King fan knows, his books sometimes have trouble translating to film. King has even gone so far as to sue certain filmmakers after the fact because they made such horrible representation of his work. However, because Stephen King is such a brilliant writer when his films do succeed they are usually masterpieces.
Such is the case with the Shawshank Redemption. Frank Darabont took this short story about a man falsely imprisoned for murder and turned it into the greatest movie ever made!
Set in the late forties, Tim Robins plays, Andy Dufresne, a successful banker, who is tried and convicted of the murder of his wife and her lover. He is sentenced to two life terms in prison, without the possibility of parole. Once there he is confronted with the harsh reality, that will be his life from this day on.
He eventually meets a man named Red, played wonderfully by Morgan Freeman. Red is everyone’s go-to-guy, if there is something you want, he is the man who can get it for you. Andy asks Red if he could get him a rock hammer because Andy is making a chess board and would like the hammer to make the pieces. And so begins one of the strongest friendships ever portrayed in the film. Robins and Freeman are such amazing actors, you feel as if each line of dialogue is being spoken directly to you.
Obviously, in a prison movie, you are bound to get themes like hope and freedom. But with the Shawshank Redemption, it is more than just clever storytelling. You actually share the same hopefulness with Andy as he longs for his freedom once again.
As movies go, you don’t get better then the Shawshank Redemption! The only other movie that is in the same league is the Green Mile. Which also happens to be a Stephen King movie adapted for the screen, by Frank Darabont. As Andy says, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and good things never die.” Neither will the Shawshank Redemption. Four out of four stars.