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Shawshank Redemption

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Submitted By traymo
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This film is about when Andy Dufresne an innocent banker, is sent to prison for a double life sentence. He makes friends while inside, his closest friend becoming Ellis Boyd Redding or ‘Red’ as his friends call him. Andy suffers with quiet dignity. To keep this under control, he continues with his favorite hobby, which just so happens to be geology. After 20 years of his sentence, he becomes the first prisoner to ever escape from Shawshank. Also he manages to have the Warden found out for all of his crimes.
There are three main characters in this film. The first is Andy Dufresne. He starts off as being the newbie who is thought to be the weakest of the bunch but turns out actually to be one of, if not the strongest characters in the film. Andy adds tension because the audience expects him to act like the new guy. When it turns out he didn’t it, a whole new impact is put on the film. The second is Red. Not only is he the narrator of the film but he is the leader of the group. He appears as clever because he is the person who can ‘get stuff’ from the outside. Red adds tension because when the audience is looking from the narrator’s point of view, they are also looking from the view of Red, Andy’s friend. When Red is worried, scared, or upset, so is the audience
The narration is spoke by Red. He has been in prison for a lot longer than Andy; therefore he presumes that he knows what will happen because he has seen it all before. His predictions conflict with what happens. Again this puts the audience in reds shoes causing confusion. This prevents the audience from guessing or solving what will happen. This is what makes this film so dramatic and incredibly different from others. It isn’t easily predicted. An example of this is when the guards discover that Andy is missing. Red is taken in with them in case he knows what has happened. This adds much tension because the audience is watching from Reds perspective and he does not know anything.
Minor characters also have quite a big impact on the story. One example of these is Brooks. He is the librarian prison member and a member of Andy Dufresne’s friendship group. He is the first to be released from prison, but that is after he has spent most of his lifetime inside. When Brooks commits suicide, it adds tension in many ways. One of them is the atmosphere when and after he does it. Another is the effect that it has on his friends and co-prisoners. Also, the most effective is when Andy starts acting strangely. He then gets a six foot long rope from one of his friends. This makes his friends and the audience immediately thinks that he is going to commit suicide, just like Brooks did. After having to think, it becomes highly unlikely that Andy would do this kind of thing. But what was he going to use it for?
The escape scene is one of, if not the most important scene in the whole film. There are many factors that add dramatic tension to the story. One of these is music. The way that it is built up and speeds up when the warden finds the escape hole that Andy climbed through, adds a thrilling feel to the scene. This is because it makes the audience feel tense and hooked in the story, and as the music starts to race, so does their heart beat causing them to be on the edge of their seats.
The setting of the hole that Andy climbed through, adds much dramatic importance. This is because the film portrays that Andy is actually getting along with living in prison and not disliking it too much. Also the fact that he only defends himself once against his crime makes it seem like he did commit it. So it seems like a huge contrast when suddenly one day Andy scrambles though ‘five-hundred yards of shit smelling foulness’ to escape. This shows just how desperate and determined Andy is to become a free man. This adds dramatic importance because it changes how the whole film is viewed by the audience; at the beginning Andy is a murderer, at the end he is an innocent man that was convicted for a crime he did not commit.

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