The Shawshank Redemption, released in 1994, was written and directed by Frank Darabont. The film stars Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne and Morgan Freeman as Ellis “Red” Redding. It has been widely recognised as one of the most beloved, inspirational, and popular movies ever made. Here are two reviews of the film.
“Why do I want to write the 234th comment on The Shawshank Redemption? I am not sure – almost everything that could be possibly said about it has been said. But like so many other people who wrote comments, I was and am profoundly moved by this simple and eloquent depiction of hope and friendship and redemption.
The only other movie I have ever seen that affects me as strongly is To Kill a Mockingbird. Both movies leave me feeling cleaner for having watched them.
No action, no special effects – just men in prison uniforms talking to each other.
I do not judge it by its technical merits – I don’t really care about that. I have read that Citizen Kane or The Godfather or this or that movie is the best movie ever made. They may have the best technique or be the most influential motion pictures ever made, but not the best. The best movies are ones that touch the soul. It takes a movie like The Shawshank Redemption to touch the soul.”
Author: carflo from San Antonio, Tx (imdb.com)
“I believe that this film is the best story ever told on film, and I’m about to tell you why.
Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufresne, a city banker, wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. He is sent to Shawshank Prison in 1947 and receives a double life sentence for the crime. Andy forms an unlikely friendship with “Red” (Morgan Freeman), the man who knows how to get things. Andy faces many trials in prison, but forms an alliance with the wardens because he is able to use his banking experience to help the corrupt officials amass personal fortunes. The story unfolds….
I was so impressed with how every single subplot was given a great deal of respect and attention from the director. The acting was world-class… The twists were unexpected, and although this film had a familiar feel, it wasn’t even slightly pretentious or cliched; it was original. The cinematography was grand and expressive. It gave a real impression of the sheer magnitude of this daunting prison.
But the one thing which makes The Shawshank Redemption stand above all other films, is the attention given to the story. The film depends on the story and the way in which it unravels. It’s a powerful, poignant, thought-provoking, challenging film like no other.
Author: Si Cole from Oxford, England (imdb.com)
“The work of art is born of the artist in a mysterious and secret way. From him it gains life and being. Nor is its existence casual or inconsequent, but it has a definite and purposeful strength, alike in its material and spiritual life. It exists and has power to create spiritual atmosphere; and from this inner standpoint one judges whether it is a good work of art or a bad one”.
“That is beautiful which is produced by the inner need which springs from the soul. ”
“All those variety of picture, when they are really art, fulfill their purpose and feed the spirit.”
“Painting is an art, and art is not vague production, transitory and isolated, but a power which must be directed to the improvement and refinement of the human soul.”
“It is very important for the artist to guage his position aright, to realise that he has a duty to his art and to himself, that he is not king of the castle but rather a servant of a nobler purpose. He must search deeply into his own soul, develop and tend it, so that his art has something to clothe, and does not remain a glove without a hand”.
From Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky, first printed in 1914