Shawshank Redemption

While hanging out at home this weekend I rewatched Shawshank Redemption for the first time since I originally saw the movie on video.  Now I remember why I immediately put it on my favorite list.  What a great film!

It has such an interesting composition that I couldn’t help thinking of it as an analogy to a masterful painting.  The characters are the focal points and their characterisation the variety of hues; the plot’s twists and turns are a full range of light and dark values; the moods evoked are a full range of saturation; the scene transitions are the hard edges, soft edges, lost edges, and gradations; the dialogue, the mark making; and the whole experience is unified by the cinematography, direction, and editing.

One of the most unifying elements of the film is the narrative dialogue of Morgan Freeman.  You almost don’t notice it because it is so comforting, but I don’t think the thread of hope would have been kept alive for the viewer without that sumptuous rumbling voice and subtle delivery.  This viewing experience reminded me that a work of art can be very complex as long as it has composition-elements that unify it and reinforce the thematic intention of the artist.

I cannot believe that the movie did not win either a single Oscar, Golden Globe, or Screen Actors Guild Award, but it was up against Forrest Gump…  It won’t matter in the long run (hehe) as Shawshank appears to have a stronger following overall.  I suspect it will remain in many top 100 lists for many years.


~ by eraethil on December 22, 2014.

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