When Andy Dufresne’s wife and her lover are found murdered, having been shot in bed, her husband, Andy (Tim Robbins), is the prime suspect.
This supposition swiftly becomes assumption, as it emerges that Andy had discovered the affair and the couple had a heated, alcohol-fuelled argument shortly before the murders took place.
When circumstantial evidence is added to the obvious motive, the only possible outcome is a conviction. And so, as Andy begins his life sentence in Shawshank Jail, the film begins in earnest.
The Shawshank Redemption examines issues such as hope, despair, friendships in times of adversity and the harsh realities of a life sentence.
However, it is human resilience that is lingered on throughout the film and, for this to be fully explored, Andy is paired up with the reflective ‘Red’ (Morgan Freeman) who provides the voice-over to Andy’s silent initiation and eventual apparent resignation to his situation.
Andy is the archetypal example of just how much physical and mental torment human beings can endure and, like everyone else in prison, Andy learns to get by.
His business background and obvious education elevates him to a certain status, as he takes on the role of accountant to the prison’s staff. Despite this surface display of equality, it isn’t long before Andy is reminded, in no uncertain terms, that he will always be a con, inferior to all but fellow cons, regardless of his brain.
However, it is Andy who has the last laugh.
The Shawshank Redemption arrived quietly then escalated as word spread and people fell in love with this simple tale of human traits.
Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding