the Thinking Chicks Guide to Movies

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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Reviewed on 2008 February 12

Very well-told adaption of Stephen King’s novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”. The direction was smooth and the acting was wonderful too.

Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is a banker arrested for the murder of his unfaithful wife and her lover, and sentenced to life in the Shawshank prison, a particularly corrupt facility run by thugs. The worst are the hypocritical Warden Norton (Bob Gunton) and the hulking Captain Hadley (Clancy Brown), a knuckledragger who’d probably beat a prisoner to death if his haircut or snoring annoyed him. Andy insists he’s innocent, but as an inmate named Red (Morgan Freeman) says, “we’re all innocent in here.”

Andy hears Red is a grand champion at sneaking things into Shawshank for the men, and as he puts in his orders to Red, they become friends. Red is alternately impressed with how Andy handles the miseries of Shawshank and amused by how he plans to escape and sets himself up as a tax-time accountant for the guards. Yes, he managed to get some special favors for getting the officers some tax breaks, but how can he escape a hole like this?

It doesn’t sound like there’s much action here, and truthfully, there isn’t. The story, dialogue, and acting carry this. Robbins had me believing he was the cool, composed Dufresne from King’s story, and Freeman was his normal talented self. Director Frank Darabont had you feeling the walls of the Shawshank close around you throughout the movie.

Four chocolate morsels.


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