So few are the motion pictures that are able to capture the viewer’s attention throughout their entire runtime. They are few because achieving such a feat is quite difficult, if not miraculous. However, those films that do succeed, deliver such a unique and engrossing visual experience that one does not forget at all. The Shawshank Redemption is undoubtedly such a film. It is a superb movie that not only features outstanding performances by its actors but is also blessed with a confident director who has given us a superlative motion picture.
The Shawshank Redemption is directed by Frank Darabont and stars Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. It is based on a Stephen King story titled “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption”. The film tells the story of two prisoners who develop a strong friendship through the years, with each providing the other multiple acts of kindness and generosity. The motion picture runs for over two hours and is a crime-drama.
The Shawshank Redemption would not have been such a powerful film experience had it not been for the two superlative acting performances from Morgan Freeman (as ‘Red’) and Tim Robbins (as Andy).
With Morgan Freeman, it comes as no surprise to note that he is one of the best things about this film. His performance here, as in almost all his other films, is simply mesmerizing. Freeman is such a gifted actor that he is able to capture the attention of the viewer in every scene he is in. Playing the role of ‘Red’, the inmate at Shawshank, Freeman emits such a strong and humane performance that one can do nothing more than applaud and wonder in amazement.
His scenes with Robbins are particularly memorable. There is the moment in which ‘Red’ first lays eyes on his new inmate and how he is skeptical of such a fragile figure entering, let alone surviving, the prison system. Though he ultimately grows to respect Andy, ‘Red”s journey to that point is an exhilarating one, thanks to Morgan Freeman. He is truly one of cinema’s most enduring acting legends.
Even with such a formidable acting legend as Morgan Freeman next to him, Tim Robbins is nonetheless prolific in The Shawshank Redemption as Andy. Andy ends up in Shawshank prison for a violent crime and looks, at first glance, as a person who has been crushed mentally and physically. He does not seem to be a formidable figure at all. However, we soon discover that he is. In more ways than one.
I really admire the way with which Tim Robbins has played this role. He gives his character sensitivity, charisma, and manages to let us instantly like Andy and connect with him as he carefully observes everyone and everything at the prison. Robbins makes the audience feel as if they are right there with him throughout all his character’s trials and triumphs. There is a lot that is to be said about his performance. Suffice to say, Tim Robbins is at the top of his game in The Shawshank Redemption. It is the performance of a lifetime.
The entire film is presented in a profound and mesmerizing way thanks to the able hands of Frank Darabont. It is evident that Darabont is a director who is incredibly confident in his abilities and provides a rare movie experience.
He is the main person to thank for allowing Freeman and Robbins the space to deliver two of the most memorable and heartfelt performances of their respective careers. That says a lot about the director as not all of them are able to choose the right actors, let alone get the best out of them.
Even though The Shawshank Redemption goes on for more than two hours, Darabont never makes the audience feel bored or uneasy throughout the film. Here, again, is another achievement that is not easy. There are countless films, some even considered classics, that have made me feel the length of their runtime, something that ultimately affects how I feel about them overall.
I continue to be amazed by Frank Darabont’s work in The Shawshank Redemption. He is clearly at the height of his directing powers and the result is a breathtaking motion picture.
Whenever I am about to watch The Shawshank Redemption again, I always feel a great sense of excitement. Not only does it have a magnificent cast and is masterfully directed, it is so much more than that to me. Films like The Shawshank Redemption are quite rare in the way they cast a spell on us and make us instantly fall in love with them. I truly cherish this film and know that I will grow more fond of it as the years go by.