Incarceration In The Shawshank Redemption

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The Shawshank Redemption, an American drama, directed and written in 1994 by Frank Darabont is a classic even famous today. The film tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker who spent nineteen years of his life in the Shawshank state prison for the murder of his wife and her lover. The film, clearly exemplifies the hardships of the incarcerated inmates through characterisation in the form of Brooks Hatlan and Andy. This further creates institutionalisation as a means to redemption of one’s soul. Through the use of cinematography, imagery and shadowing, the director has been able to create the idea that incarceration acts as a catalyst to being instutionalised. Through settings and characterization the key ideas that have been explored are friendship, hope, freedom and institutionalisation.
Darabont is able to clearly illustrate the dire consequences of incarceration by showing the isolation and physical distress the inmates go through by the use of imagery, colours, angle shots and repetition. Due to the conditions the prisoners are dealing with it showed the audience the negative aspects that prisons entail. The beginning shot of the prison highlights its uninviting design and darker greyscale colours which immediately personifies the prison as a character which casts its shadow throughout the film. Therefore, this allows the audience to realise the power over the men that it incarcerates. The use of camera shots play a significant role in showing the dominance the prison
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