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Technical Review Of "The Shawshank Redemption" (Comment On The Techniques And Themes Used In The Movie)

1048 words - 4 pages

"The Shawshank Redemption" is a 1994 film which is your basic "prison" movie. I was apprehensive and sceptical at first about the movie but while watching I found the movie has many hidden messages. These messages, or motifs, have been done subliminally and you cannot pick them out on your first viewing. There are many techniques used such as themes/messages, colours, music, lighting and hostility which make the film gain a more meaningful message."The Shawshank Redemption" is about a young banker named Andy Dufresne who has been sent to serve a life imprisonment at Shawshank prison for murdering his ex-wife and her lover. At first when he is sent to prison, he gets hassled by the guards and the other prisoners. He makes a friend in Ellis 'Red' Redding, who becomes his best friend. As the movie progresses Andy gains the respect and admiration of the prisoners and guards when he helps one of the guards.The film has many themes in it. The main ones are barriers, corruption, and hope. Throughout the movie Andy faces many barriers, both mentally and physically. The physical barrier is mainly the prison itself, which prevents him from living his dreams. The mental barriers are more confronting. At the beginning Andy is trapped in the mental barrier of losing his wife who had cheated on him. The walls of the prison library were old and worn like the spirits of the prisoners, but when it was renovated the prisoners spirits rose and so did their hope. Another barrier were the bars of the prison. The bars would appear to show imprisonment and usually were noticeable in times of despair, such as when Andy arrived at Shawshank prison.Corruption was featured mainly in the running of the prison. Warden Norton claims himself to be a religious man, although he does not follow his beliefs. He uses his power to corrupt the prison system to benefit him financially. Norton uses Andy to process money which Norton gains from illegitimate deals. Norton orders deaths and covers them up for his own good, for example when Chief Guard Byron Hadley shoots Tommy Williams because he knows that Andy is innocent and if freed Norton would not be able to use Andy's skills to cover up his shady deals.All of the prisoners have hope. A hope to be acquitted of their charges. "Everybody's innocent here," is a quote from Red. This shows the prisoners hope. The theme of hope is also portrayed through the lighting and how the brighter the image is, the more hope there is. It also works the other way, when there is no hope there is no light.Lighting is a key feature in this film. The lighting has the power to set the scene and to tell the mood. Mixtures of light and dark were used in the film. There was a lot of use of shadows and limited sunlight to show the feeling of the characters in their dark times. When Andy and the new inmates arrive at Shawshank they are taken to a room, which was...

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