Searching for redemption

Searching for redemption

Story by Steve Fruehauf , Copy Editor

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In my opinion, Stephen King is amongst the most influential authors in the world. So when I heard “Shawshank Redemption,” a film adaptation of his short story “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,” was on campus I had to go see it.

Warning: This review has MAJOR spoilers.

The 1994 film stars a young Tim Robbins and, of course, the one and only Morgan Freeman as inmates in a high-security prison.

These two are my absolute favorites. They bond over the course of several years while incarcerated but the entire time, Andy Dufresne (Robbins) continually pledges his innocence over the murders of his then wife and her secret lover.

While in prison, Dufresne is faced with an unfair warden, aggressive guards and violent criminal inmates. Since he was a banker prior to being convicted, he eventually cops a deal where he handles all the warden and the guards’ finances with the promise that he gets some special privileges in return. In actuality, Dufresne was handling the warden’s bribe money.

With thee special circumstances in place, he was confident that he had everyone’s guard down. This is when he planned his escape. One of his special and most important privileges was having a poster in his jail cell. Over the course of the next 20 years, Dufresne continually tries to dig his way out through the wall behind the poster.

While digging, he makes sure to keep up his daily routine like nothing happened as to avoid any suspicions. He continues to work in the library, one of his other privileges, and he keeps up discussion with Ellis Redding (Freeman) until the day he finally finishes the digging. Viewers learn of his departure after he is absent at early roll call. The guards search his cell completely and soon find the gaping hole behind the poster. What a clever way to escape!

They learn later Dufresne not only escaped successfully, but he also took all of the warden’s money. After the police got wind of the bribe money, they came to arrest the warden but he had already killed himself to avoid persecution. The head prison guard was
also arrested.

Dufresne then got a hold of Redding, who was still in jail, and told him he left some of the money he took and put it under a tree. He advised Redding to go there and collect it once he was set free. When he finally did get parole, he did just as Dufresne had said and found the money. They then both meet up in Mexico where they relish their release from jail.

I think the plotline of this film alone should get people interested in viewing it. King is so smart with how he interweaves all of the different situations together. If that didn’t cut it for viewers, then the two starring actors should have.

Robbins and Freeman are amongst the most famous actors of all time. Any movie they are in should attract people. Robbins in “War of the Worlds” and “Bull Durham” along with Freeman in “Seven” and the “Batman” trilogy were all great performances.

I would suggest this movie to anyone looking for a classic. The combination of Stephen King’s writing and the acting performances by the two leading men makes for an unbelievably well prepared and executed film. Pick it up, watch it and relish in the works of several professionals.