"I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing 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 those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free."
Uplifting to the last, The Shawshank Redemption is by far one of the best filsm I have ever seen. I will save my pissed off rant for a little lower and first praise the film that deserved to be much more of a success. As an innocent man in prison, Tim Robbins plays the role of his career as Andy Dufresne, the soft-spoken smartest man in all of Shawshank. He brought hope and culture and life to the dead walls of a jail that was just like any other prison. Red, played by Morgan Freeman (also the role of his career) plays our narrator and the main focus of change in the entire film. As much as the film is about Andy, our protaganist is Red. He goes throught he most change. A man who doesn't believe in hope or anything before Andy, and once Andy finishes the unthinkable, finally sees the spirit that Andy lived by. It's a beautiful story of friendship, salvation and hope.
So here is my rant. What the Fuck! Forrest Gump is the most overrated piece of crap ever. We all know that 1994 was the best year for entertainment in many years. Shawshank got the worst shaft of any film ever. EVER! A film that is pure brilliance straight through and that doesn't use pop-culture to sell tickets gets overlooked by another unconvincing Tom Hanks performance. Seriously though, Forrest Gump may have overshadowed this film in the mainstream, but real fans of cinema have shown the suppor tfor Shawshank. As much as it doesn't fit in with other cult films, it is pretty much the greatest cult film of all time. A film that did relatively mediocre in theaters, but to this day remains the number one most rented and purchased film? That's saying a lot. A movie with a real message.
After watchign this again tonight, I see that my Top 5 delves into five of my favorite topics for character generation in films and why these movies make the tops of my list. Five institutions will be discussed. The first was school (Rushmore) which will always pose great conflicts (the reason why Donnie Darko, John Hughes films and such all work.) This one, however, brings in another excellent institution: the prison system. You get all kinds of characters on the inside. Gaurds, institutionalized old men, innocents, guilties, corrupt wardens and many more. Characters like Brooks leads to a real human feel to the world on the inside of Shawshank. Even the "Ladies" give it much more of a realistic feel (not that I have ever been inside a jail.) However, its things like this that make this film so amazing. A much more realistic film with great characters with depth than many other movie I have ever seen. The next three films will bring in three different institutions. Of course, I'm not going to tell you what they are. So just wait to see the list. I leave you with this message from the film.
"Salvation lies within."