About three months ago, I was watching television with my older sister when we happened upon a screening of what she said was one of her favorite movies of all time. The first scene I watched was of an elderly gentleman named Brooks, carving his name on the archway of his bedroom, then tying a noose around his neck and hanging himself from the beam. It turns out the man was a convicted felon who'd just been let out on parole after serving fifty years of a life sentence in prison. He had gotten so used to life behind bars that the fast-paced freedom he had on the outside drove him mad.
I didn't get to watch the entire movie then, but I did see a snippet of it a few weeks later when I was riding the bus. Frankly, I got a bit frustrated because I was itching to find out about the rest of the movie, but couldn't manage to watch the film in its entirety. Luckily, I was able to find myself a copy of it a few days ago, and I finally got around to watching it today.
The film is called The Shawshank Redemption, and is based off Stephen King's novella entitled Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. The story revolves around Andy Dufresne, a banker who was wrongfully convicted for murdering his wife and her lover, and his experiences while serving two consecutive life sentences inside Shawshank State Penitentiary in Maine. He befriends Red, a fellow inmate, who, incidentally, is the narrator of the story. Now I won't go into the entire synopsis here because you can easily read that on IMDB or Wikipedia. What I will say though is that I understand why this is one of my sister's favorite movies.
The Shawshank Redemption has the kind of story that will leave you thinking. Thinking about the justice system. Thinking about men who have power, and who reign with an iron fist. Heck, it even made me think about homosexuality, and the lengths some people will go to to get laid. But mostly it made me think about hope. The kind of hope that you get when you hear a particularly uplifting song, or when your parents forgive you even after you've been insufferably insolent. Watching the way Andy and Red overcame their tough situations through perseverance was inspiring, yet also a little sad because I know fairytale endings don't always happen. Still, I guess I've got to take things in stride and follow Andy Dufresne's advice saying,"There is always hope."