1/22/2010, reviewed by Amanda Evans
Set behind bars and high stone walls, Shawshank Redemption is a movie about hope. Upstanding banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sent to Shawshank prison in the 1940s to serve out a double life sentence after being framed for the double murder of his wife and her lover. Decades pass, but Andy refuses to let horrible experiences get him down. Instead he gets funds from the state to expand the library, assists all the guards with their taxes, helps some of the inmates further their educations, and plays a gorgeous Italian opera over all the prison loudspeakers. Recounted from the point of view of "Red" (Morgan Freeman)—a young hothead whom years in prison have wizened and aged—this story tells it like it is and it's not always pretty. Some scenes are very hard to watch but the movie makers created a perfect balance between heart wrenching tragedy, awful corruption, humorous situations, and touching beauty found even in such a drab place. The end result is a powerful film in which hope triumphs over the institution.
One can hardly expect a movie set in a place full of criminals to be clean, so take our cautions seriously. This movie is not for children. It is especially full of foul language. However, nothing is needlessly put in and the whole thing is well worth watching.
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