Opening Mood: Refreshingly Satisfied.
Opening Song: None.
Time : 2:30 A.M, 21st Jan 2007.

Shawshank Redemption - Movie Poster



“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.

About gautshen

A jack of many trades of which , Linux Kernel Programming puts food on the table. Also pursuing his PhD in the area Theoretical Computer Science at the Chennai Mathematical Institute. Is an avid reader interested in the Hindu traditions and philosophy. Loves Bicycling and Good Music. Name is Ranjal Gautham Shenoy.
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3 Responses to Redemption

  1. theG says:

    lovely! yes, i too loved the movie. But I did not think the ending as unexpected. Once he killed the kid, I did expect the warden to remain stubborn. I did like the way he describes to Red how the money laundering was going on. And then to use that to trump on the warden was just amazing!

  2. Kripal says:

    Dude. i think you are missing a point here. Patience and cowardice tiumphing feels good coz it rarely and i do mean RARELY ever happens in real life. You keep shut in real life and people are liable to trample all over you. You are giving hope to people where there is none. This post would be better suited for a motivational speaker than you.

  3. rand0mwalker says:

    Yeah, “In the world outside, I was straight as an arrow. I had to come into the prison to become a crook!” What irony!!

    Well, I ain’t giving no hope to anybody here. This kinda approach has worked for me, else I wouldn’t have been able to relate to Andy Dufresne at all.

    It probably doesn’t go well with today’s fast-food culture, but I prefer cooking to fast-food anyday 🙂

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