Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Shawshank Redemption directed by Frank Darabont is a remarkable film that not only has a brilliant acting cast but also had a well written screen write. The movie was nominated for 7 Oscars awards ranging from actor’s awards to what I consider the best award to be given at the Oscars; Best Picture. I enjoyed the film greatly and respect the way Darabont decided to go about creating this groundbreaking film. I see this film as a great example of a crime/drama story and works very well with the time period it is supposed to be set in. The set of the film definitely makes it seem like you are in the 1950’s decade.  

 

Cinematography

            Throughout the film many videography techniques were used to create such a great picture that the film was but there were also a few moments in the film that I felt as if things could’ve been shot differently. The first scene in the jail yard when actor Morgan Freeman was talking to one of the inmates the shot changed from one side of them talking to the complete other side. Darabont broke the 180 rule of film by jumping from one side to instead of using a cut away or simply panning around to follow the two actors walking. Another way this could have been changed is that another shot with both actors in the center would have allowed the camera to be moved to the other side that is shown in the film.

            Selective focus is used eleven minutes into the film to show actor William Sadler talking while actor Morgan Freeman was out of focus. Directors used this technique to focus on the main person talking at that point in time and make it easier for the audience to know who is speaking. I agree with the use of this technique at that time of the film to help show who is talking at the time.

            A lighting technique is used thirteen minutes into the film where a guard’s hat shades the top half of his face from the natural light. Whether this was done purposely or not this is the short lighting technique to only reveal part of the actor’s face which can help perceive how the actor will be in the film. The guard throughout the film is very shady and murders one of the inmates on the first night of new comers into the prison.

            Thirty-two minutes into the film a rolling centered shot of the guards walking down center of the prison is an amazing shot at a low point of view. The low angle shot used in this scene with an applied dolly back shows great fluidity and smoothness. Rolling shots like this combined with a great angle can really grab your audience’s attention to see things in a different perspective.

           

Music

            The melodious song If I Didn’t Care by The Ink Spots set the mood for the start of film making things cool, calm, and collected. I feel like the song played hand in hand with what was going on at the start of the film because the meaning of the song is a person have doubt about love and what it meant to them. Andy Defresne (Tim Robbins) was cheated on by his wife and decided to leave him which made Defresne very upset to the point that he looks as if he want to kill his wife and her lover.  The song itself perfectly sets the mood for the confusion of love and why things happen the way they do. The audio technique known by few as the Segway technique makes the music in a film go from the overall audio to a specific object in the scene such as a cassette tap or mp3 player. In this case the music begins to come from the car that actor Tim Robbins was sitting in at the beginning of the film.  

            Many voiceovers are used in this film, so the audience could feel as if they knew what was going on in the character’s mind and almost see things from the characters point of view. Morgan Freeman’s voice is used in the beginning and soon after actor Tim Robbins voice is also used.

 

Work of Director and Main Actors

            Director Frank Darabont is a well-known man for crime/drama films that range from the eighties to the early two thousands. The way he directs his films amaze me because he likes to keep it simple but also keep his audience interested in what is going on. Not all films have to have a bunch of fight scenes to get the audience attention and Darabont did a very good job of keeping the audience intrigued with simple dialog plus drama. As for the acting of Tim Robbins I believe he did a great job as the main actor and keeping his character all throughout the entire film. He truly seemed to be a free man with lots of knowledge and deserved to be let free from the prison. Morgan Freeman played an outstanding role as the head of all the other characters in the film. Freeman always seems to be able to play the old man with wise words in movies and I respect him a lot for it. Not many actors can do as well as he does between roles in many different films and still be able to come back to his actual self.