Adaptation Of Stephen King's Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank Redemption

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When a celebrated and revered novel is adapted into a film, many critics immediately scrutinize the movie for any deviations from the original. We regard the original text as sacred, which leaves the film to almost definitely be sacrilegious. This reluctance to recognize that a film as a work of art in its own right is shown to be a flawed phenomenon by Frank Darabont’s successful adaptation of Stephen King’s Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. In this essay I will show why Stephen King would satisfied with Frank Darabont’s filmic adaptation by discussing how it is one of the elite, few adaptations that remain true (and even strengthen) the novella’s primary themes which in this instance are institutionalization and the capacity for…show more content…
In the text, Bogs Diamond is mentioned once and is soon transferred out of Shawshank and the rest of his time is spent combatting several other Sisters that take turns going after him. Whereas in the film Bogs torments Andy for a long time and plays the part of all the Sisters. Thus after Andy helps the guards with their taxes, when Boggs is nearly beaten to death and is transferred out to a medical prison, we have less sympathy for him. Similarly so, Warden Norton is a combination of three different wardens (himself, Greg Stammas and George Dunahy) and therefore becomes one, central villain that sees himself as the god-like custodian of justice and treats prisoners are the cold-blooded hoodlums that he can justly abuse. Norton becomes responsible for the crimes of all three wardens: laundering money, midnight burials and the ‘inside out program’ which is effectively slave labour. The nature of his downfall is also edite. Instead of merely resigning as he does in the text, Warden Norton commits suicide after his scams are exposed. This created a sense of closure for the audience and reinforces his cruelty as it reveals he got his sense of self-worth from his power over the prisoners. In addition it intensifies Andy’s triumph over a corrupt justice system and gives the viewer a heightened catharsis. The film also makes a robust criticism on the injustice within the American prison system and portrays the Shawshank jail as a place devoid of any moral compass. In the novel the idea of ‘screw fever’ is discussed, referring to the new inmates’ longing to leave. In the film this is visually represented in the character of Fat-Ass who is beaten to death by the guards after breaking down in tears on his first night. This scene is shown in a wide, static, objective long shot. The emphasis is not on the violence and but rather on the place to highlight the
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