Opening Mood: Refreshingly Satisfied.
Opening Song: None.
Time : 2:30 A.M, 21st Jan 2007.
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies”
These immortal words of Andy Dufresne that are ringing in my ears right now after watching “Shawshank Redemption” for the umpteenth time.
I don’t think I am qualified to review this masterpiece. No, I don’t even wanna
think of the dissection knife . This movie is best left untouched in one piece.
Instead I would wanna talk about the reason why every time I watch this movie, love it more than ever before.
I have vivid memories of the January afternoon of my 6th Semester when I sat in Thamie’s room trying to choose between “Shawshank Redemption” and “Requeim for a dream” to kill the afternoon. Yes, kill is the word because, I was a day-scholar that year, and every lab cancelled was equivalent to a matinee show, courtesy the hostel LAN. I decided on “Shawshank Redemption” because it was locally available on Tuka’s comp.
To tell you frankly, I didn’t think much of Andy’s character from the way he behaved in the court. Silent, icy, slightly apathetic, despite the fact that he had not committed the crime. I felt he had no chance; Till the roof top encounter with Hadley, where he advises Hadley to gift the inherited money to his wife to escape taxation. The simple manner in which he went about the whole thing made me stand up and bow. He struck the deal like a man.
The other incident is when Andy play’s Mozart’s “Le Nozze de Figaro” to the whole prison. In Red’s words –
“I have no idea to this day what them two Italian ladies were singin’ about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I like to think they were singin’ about something so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared. Higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made these walls dissolve away…and for the briefest of moments — every last man at Shawshank felt free.”
I guess, the same can be said about the movie too.
And boy, the relaxed and satisfied look on Andy’s face when he sits on that
warden’s chair with his legs propped on the table, cooly ignoring the warden’s
warnings can bring a smile on anybody’s face.
The movie always gives you the unexpected. I expected the Warden to change
after all the dirty work Andy does for him, but he remains stiff as ever. Well, he gets a fitting reply. When it all ends Red aptly voices over,
“…I like to think the last thing that went through his (Warden’s) head…other than that bullet…was to wonder how the hell Andy Dufresne ever got the best of him.”
No second thoughts there!
However, the part which I love the most is the part where Andy describes his
after-prison life plans to Red.
“Tell you where I’d go. Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Little place right on the Pacific. You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific? They say it has no memory. That’s where I’d like to finish out my life, Red. A warm place with no memory. Open a little hotel right on the beach. Buy some worthless old boat and fix it up like new. Take my guests out charter fishing.”
Can you too see that ? The never dying flicker of hope. Two months in the hole would have killed the man in anybody. But Andy kept dreaming, kept hoping. While hope can be such a torture to those who have been betrayed by the very folks they loved, Andy never lost hope on hope. They may have broken every bone in his body, but they couldn’t touch his ability to hope.
We’ve all encountered people, both in fiction and in real life, who have charmed us with their thunderous speeches, aggressive actions, or their larger than life mannerisms. These men have come, shone in the limelight and gone. They all were great men. Men whom we admire and probably worship.
However Andy was different. He showed that silence ain’t cowardice, that
patience ain’t a waste of time and that revolting against the situation ain’t
gonna take you anywhere till the right time comes, and when that time comes, you don’t wait to do the right thing.
Andy Dufresne may not have been a great man in usual sense of the word.
Yet, I can’t help admiring this character, because he was something much more than a great man – Andy, was a good man.
Closing Song: None.
Closing Mood: It’s quite late in the night. Should sleep now.