4.) Your Favorite Drama
answer: The Shawshank Redemption
The first time I saw this movie in the cinema, I freaked myself out. I swore I was having a major case of Deja Vu because throughout the movie there were several instances when I knew what was going to happen before it did. and not like when you’re watching a poorly written story where you can predict what will most likely happen, in this case I knew specific events and even lines of dialogue! When I went home and told my mother, she laughed and said it was because I read the book. It’s a short story by Stephen King called ‘Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption’.
The story was part of a collection named ‘Different Seasons’. I read the book when I was 15 and I remember being shocked by the descriptions of prison life, particularly the ‘Sisters’ storyline. Coincidentally the book also contained the short stories that turned into ‘Apt Pupil’ and ‘Stand by Me’.
Andy: I have no enemies here.
Red: Yeah? Wait a while. Word gets around. The Sisters have taken quite a likin’ to you. Especially Boggs.
Andy: I don’t suppose it would help if I told them that I’m not homosexual.
Red: Neither are they. You have to be human first. They don’t qualify.
I may have initially forgotten about the book version of this story but the movie version stayed with me. I thought about it constantly, quotes from the movie that I could relate to on a personal level:
Red: I could see why some of the boys took him for snobby. He had a quiet way about him, a walk and a talk that just wasn’t normal around here. He strolled, like a man in a park without a care or a worry in the world, like he had on an invisible coat that would shield him from this place. Yeah, I think it would be fair to say… I liked Andy from the start.
Visual aspects that I found pleasing:
And just the general situation that Andy found himself in: serving a prison sentence for something that he didn’t do but felt like he caused to happen. So not only physically serving time but emotionally serving it as well, through guilt.
‘She was beautiful. God I loved her. I just didn’t know how to show it, that’s all. I killed her, Red. I didn’t pull the trigger, but I drove her away. And that’s why she died, because of me.’
I love many parts of this movie but I have two particular favorites. First, when Andy finds himself part of the work crew that is tarring the roof. He gives the main guard some financial advice, after being a little too blunt in his delivery and almost getting himself thrown off the building.
Andy: Mr. Hadley, do you trust your wife?’
In exchange, Andy requests that his friends get the chance to indulge in some bottled beer during one of their rest breaks. Andy didn’t partake himself, since it was alcohol induced decisions that got him stuck there in the first place, but he found comfort in watching his friends enjoy the treat.
‘We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men.’
The second scene I really like, is when Andy finally gets his donation of books that he’s been requesting in order to update the prison library. Some music was also included in the shipment and so he locks himself in the Warden’s office and plays an Opera record over the main sound system. Visually speaking, the scene is beautiful: all of the prisoners who are out in the prison yard stop to listen in awe. and inside, Andy is laid back in the Warden’s chair taking in the beautiful sounds himself.
Andy knows what the consequences will be for pulling such a stunt, but he believes it was worth it. The consequence being, spending time in solitary confinement. Afterwards, his description of music resonates with me. I too value music as a gift, storing it in my head and bringing it out when needed, either out loud by singing/humming or in silence by just remembering.
That’s the beauty of music. They can’t get that from you…there’s something inside that they can’t get to, that they can’t touch. That’s yours.
The big reveal towards the end of the movie is very exciting and always leaves me feeling inspired, not only for Andy- with his patience and determination- but for his friend Red as well. I love a happy ending.
‘I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.’
next up: favorite comedy