Pick this flick 2-Shawshank Redemption  

Posted by Praveen in ,

"Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And a good thing never dies".

It happened about 4 years back, when I was browsing through the DVD collection at the local video renting shop close to my home, a distinct looking cover caught my attention. It carried the image of a man with his hands outstretched in the rain, presenting a picture of some glorious achievement. The quote which I mentioned at the start, accompanied the image. The movie's name was "Shawshank Redemption". I still remember that night, it was about half an hour past 2 when the movie ended, I sat there with a warm heart, like never before and my mind was brimming with some positive energy, the kind of energy which can even make you climb mount everest(Too bad, I didn't set off for the mount that night itself). And it was on that night that the way I looked at movies changed completely.

Shawshank is the pinnacle of moviemaking. If ever every aspect of a movie can come good all in a single movie, it happened here. Be it the heart warming story by Stephen King or the taut screenplay and direction from Frank Darabont or the mind blowing acting by Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins and company, you've got it all here. Added to all this is Morgan Freeman's legendary narration skills in his deep barritone voice. Andy Dufresne(Tim Robbins) arrives in Shawshank prison convicted of murdering his wife and her boyfriend. He has to serve a double life sentence. The prison is notorious for its corrupt and cruel wardens, inmates who are hardened criminals and most of all for the hell-like prison life. Morgan Freeman plays 'Red', who has already served 20 years for a murder charge. He's the one who smuggles and supplies essential commodities to everyone in the prison. He'll smuggle you anything from a toothbrush to Rita Hayworth. The two of them develop a great friendship.
Dufresne becomes a favourite with the guards by providing them sound financial advice. There's a scene in which he gets a bottle of beer for all his friends in return for a financial advice to the warden. The way he sits in a corner and watches his friends enjoying the beer in the shining sun, like free men, is unforgettable. Not to forget that iconic scene of Dufresne standing with his arms outstretched after wading through "200 yards of pure shit". The script is full of dialogues which are worth pasting on your walls as daily inspiration. There's this scene where Dufresne wins a grant to buy new books for the prison library after years of non-stop requests to the higher authorities. After he receives the grant and the books, he smiles and says "Thank God, it took only 6 years". Now, that can be called 'the heights of positive thinking'.

IMDB rates it #2 in the list of top 250 movies of alltime, just behind the one and only Godfather. I would dare to rate it as the undisputed #1 in my own personal list. For me, no movie hence or before was able to match up with this ultimate cinematic experience.

PS- One of my favorite characters from the movie is that of the old man Brooks, who has spent most of his life in prison. He maintains the prison library and delivers books to the inmates. He carries a crow in his pocket whom he affectionately calls Jake. He's so used to the life in prison that on the day of his release, he tries to kill a fellow prison mate so that they will put him back to prison. When he gets out, he finds it hard to cope with the changes that have taken place in the world and atlast he ends his life. 2 years back, when I wrote the first song for our band, I came up with a story similar to this. At the time of writing the song, I never thought about this movie. But recently when my friend asked whether this movie was the inspiration for that song, it struck me. This particular part of the movie was somewhere at the back of my mind when I wrote that song because it was so strikingly similar.

your crusader Praveen

This entry was posted on Friday, July 04, 2008 at Friday, July 04, 2008 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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