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Day 92: The Shawshank Redemption

 "Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."
Courtesy: Google Images
One movie that has always retained its first place position among Top #250 movies list provided by IMDb is 'The Shawshank Redemption'. This is also my favorite movie ! Of course, there are many many more movies that are wonderful and inspiring (it is hard to name them here). But this one was very good as this was the story of a bad system, how these kept the prisoners within the vicious cycle, institutionalization, story of hope and injustice.It is a movie that paints hope. I must have watched this movie so many times that I can hear the narration of Morgan Freeman in my head as my mind's eye moves the various scenes from the movie. If you are a film lover and one who appreciates beautiful cinema, this is one that you must not miss. After over 20 years since its release, this movie continues to entice us with a brilliant story and screenplay. What makes it special? As a person who has watched this many many times, I feel this movie managed to win the hearts of people because of its story telling style. This is a story of great friendship, contrasting personalities, justice, hope, and even the larger aspect of life. It is not the usual prison story of escape. It is a story of liberation and escape from the 'ties' of human bondage. Here bondage does not mean the prison or actual slavery. Here, it is the bondage from within. The context was very deep (I'm not sure if that is what the director intended to convey but I got that from the movie). The climax that showed 'Red', Morgan Freeman's character take that bus to meet 'Andy', Tim Robbin's character was the most liberating scene and whenever I drive through the long roads, I think of that very scene (not always, at times). The joy when the inmates drank beer after their hard labor, the Italian opera singers and the librarian and the library, Andy teaching the new prisoner and helping him get through his exams, the little joys of saving tiny things, all this still remain so fresh in one's mind.

This movie is based on Stephen King's short story "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" from the novel "Different Seasons." This was directed by Frank Darabont (The Green Mile, The Walking Dead and many others). This movie did not fare well at the box office in terms of money but it did win critics praises and awards and even nominated for Academy award for Best Adapted Screenplay. The casting, the setting, the music (Thomas Newman) and everything about this movie is special. However, all this makes me wonder why was there a tepid response from the audience ? Probably, Forrest Gump took the attention away from this ! We never know. Of course, I also agree that word-of-mouth is a powerful tool. So, even if this movie deserves a top position, the reason for its #1 position is because of a strong word-of-mouth ! Well, whatever has happened, this movie has never stopped to inspire me and weave the magic of hope, everytime I need one.

To quote Red,

"I find I'm so excited that I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel. A free man at a start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. 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. " 
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