Critical Analysis of The Film "The Shawshank Redemption"

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 2217 |

Pages: 5|

12 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Words: 2217|Pages: 5|12 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Table of contents

  1. Narrative
  2. Cinematography
  3. Mise-en-Scene
  4. Sound
  5. Setting
  6. The Most Depressing Apartment Ever
  7. Editing
  8. References


The narrative point of view that applied to the film is about Andy but Red is the one who narrates the information about his friend. The audience side with him and against those try to harm him. We see what he sees, because of the way he begins and dominates screen time and because of the camera angles sometimes from his viewpoint. However, the main reason we sympathize with him is because of the narrative voice from Red’s point of view. If Red didn’t tell us to like Andy, we wouldn’t.

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The Shawshank redemption is a dramatized narrative because someone is telling us the story which is Red. Also, Andy may be the main protagonist, but the person telling his story is Red and he is the one using the word “I”. This also serves to distance us slightly from Andy, which is in keeping with his character so it is a first personal narrative. The film used a restricted narrative because Red can’t see everything that happened to Andy, this restricts our view of events. There are some things Red cannot see like when Andy escape and these create a sense of mystery for the audience, which they in turn try to solve.


This film is in the classical style, combining elements of both formalism and realism. It also combines components of the dramatic, dreamer (prison break), and romantic genres. It conjointly contains a symbolism that's created apparent through the employment of the many techniques and components, however the motion-picture photography have particularly vital roles to play during this film. the total flick shows the idiom flick that's extremely created in 1994. By combining the important and formalized designs offers United States of America the simplest of each worlds. during this flick, the employment of long takes (realism), close ups, and slow zooms (formalism) toward the characters create the story intimate enough to have an effect on the audience.

One of the foremost tricking uses of formalism within the film takes place once the “sisters” attack Andy for the primary time. Also, the scenes have a good shot by having a decent angle, particularly once the actors acumen to trot out it. Those low angles for a lot of the film offer powerful impression and high angles that are generally bird’s eye views to convey its impotency to those captive actors

This film conjointly combines medium and lighting designs from many genres. These embrace dramatic narrative, dreamer or jail break films and strangely enough, romances.

The detail of the motion-picture photography is sort of sturdy, particularly in closeups and therefore the depth of the image is that the best I even have seen on home video, though there are times once it is a bit soft. colors are richly saturated, and black levels are achromatic and deep with wonderful shadow delineation.


Tim Robbins was challenged with portraying a man falsely imprisoned. Not just a man, but a successful man, not accustomed to a criminal life style and in no way ready for prison life. He played the role of Andy Dufresne. The film was an adaptation of a Stephen King short story and Robbins was left to “interpret” the role of Andy. For instance, watch Andy during his transport to the prison; when he gets off the bus and then walks towards the building. He most definitely captured the essence of an innocent man well beyond his element. Robbins displays the wonder, fear and alienation that Andy likely felt that day. Robbins could only have accomplished this by offering us his interpretation of how an innocent man would enter prison.

Morgan Freeman, on the other hand, has played many different kinds of roles. In this film, he is somewhat a fatherly figure to some of the inmates, but most importantly he becomes a close friend of Andy’s. He also provides narration throughout the film. Freeman’s voice is one that is easily identifiable, so much so that we often hear it on commercials. While this might lend some to believe that he would fall into the “character” category, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Freeman is in a league of his own when it comes to acting ability, and he displayed this very well in this film.

Freeman (as “Red”) convinces the viewer that he doesn’t care about getting paroled; but he does care. Even though he walks with his lips pursed, his eyes tell a story of hope. His desire to speak with his “younger” self also tells that story. And then magically, he is out. Again, his eyes tell the story; is is truly amazed at what freedom feels like. Yet years later he will play a cult style leader of a post-apocalyptic world in the film Oblivion, and he will do so convincingly. He is acting prowess allows him to venture from Drama, to Sci-Fi, to even comedy (Bruce Almighty).

Bob Gunton is a true character actor. In The Shawshank Redemption he plays the prison warden. A recurring role which he performs well. However, Gunton, though clearly recognizable, has never achieved “star” status like Robbins and Freeman. Gunton has spent time between both the small screen and big screen. The list of television shows he’s been in appear to be greater than the number of films he’s acted in. There is no doubt that he is an excellent actor, but based on his filmography (including television) it would appear that he is seeking out very specific roles – dominant male type roles.

My actor of focus, Morgan Freeman, does not have to worry about being “typecast” or only been placed in movies that cater to specific roles he would enforce. Take for instance his role in the film Red, where he becomes an elder action hero, or the aforementioned movie Oblivion, where he plays Beech, a leader of a rebel group that confront the protagonist, Tom Cruise. Freeman has been able to adapt his acting to any genre and in each has excelled where only a very few handful of actors has been able to excel.


The “Shawshank Redemption” movie used different methods of sound effects and music that can affect the audience by all scenes. From the start of the movie, there is a type of sounds that is non-diegetic ascent. It helps the movie to be more interesting for the viewers. It is obvious that it is an old movie because of the type of tone that are used. When there is a dark scene, the noise is contrapuntal to the visible of darkness and it emphasize a mysterious confirm at the scene. Because of that, there a big impact for the audience and the ominous system is created when the sound or tune stops.

In the scene of the crime, there is a gun that announced a goal target within the following shot. It results a often coinciding with the ascent sound stopping and by using the mysterious tones area unit, it was replaced.

The sound bridge is applied to present a good and interesting transition between two scenes, where there is a communication from the subsequent scene. In the whole movie, the sound has a special contribution to the movie because it makes a transition from the different types of tune which are asynchronous to synchronous.

When it comes to the first scene in the court and murder was mentioned, this straight away and the scene are regarding. This method is used often in the movie because of the different scenario that shows an innocent crime. By that, it also used a combination of the non-diegetic records thrill tones and this highlights made when the protagonist was talking and confirm his journey in the movie. Those two scenes come by and displayed the sound effect of the gun.

The movie produce a good sound effect that can make a audience express themselves based on the different scenario in the film. The music is obviously old compared to present time but it is a good song. It make the movie more alive. Also, this film doesn’t used a several song but focus to the sound effects.


About 95% of the film takes area internal the walls of Shawshank, so we have to probable speak about it a bit. Keeping in thinking that a director's job is commonly to make an audience empathize with a film's protagonist, what better way to do that than to create a helpless feeling of claustrophobia and desperation? Trapping us inner Shawshank with Andy and Red for two hours is really enough to do the trick.

From the minute Andy's bus drives through the gate, we are unable to leave. The audience have to go through alongside with him through each inmate attack, each and every stint in The Hole, every maggot-ridden cafeteria offering. By the time Andy sooner or later escapes, viewers start cheering inside. Not just because he is our hero and we have been rooting for him to get out, but because we're ailing of the place. We'd almost climb via that sewer of sludge with him if it supposed getting to see a scene shot in a exceptional filming location.

In fact, Andy's got a incredibly candy set-up, as existence in Shawshank goes. He gets to work in the library, eventually helping the guards with their taxes, doing what he loves and what he is precise at. He even locks one guard in a toilet when he decides to go all rebellion and play that record, and he in some way lives to inform the tale. Talk about being a 'warden's pet.'

The Most Depressing Apartment Ever

Apparently, when any one is let out of Shawshank, the large guys in cost like to reintroduce former inmates back into civilization by means of hooking them up with the most miserable boarding residence of all time.

There's nothing inherently miserable about it. It's roomy, well-lit appears at ease enough. However, Brooks becomes so upset that he hangs himself there, and Red is nearly pushed to do the same.

That room is where they come domestic each and every night, though, and where they have time to surely suppose about things. It's the place the loneliness are felt the most. It likely would not turn Red's frown upside-down to see 'Brooks used to be here' carved into the wood beam.


In this case, Zihuatanejo occurs to be an real place, but it virtually would not have to be. It's more the notion of the idyllic seaside city it is important. Zihuatanejo basically represents two things — hope and freedom. It's the carrot dangling just in front of Andy's nose, spurring him on each time he begins to surprise if he is ever going to get to the give up of that tunnel. Also, due to the fact most of us will in no way have to dig our way out of a prison cell, it's the concept of having a strong, definitive aim and working tough to understand it that resonates with the film's


The editing skill of the editor in the whole movie is quiet interesting and powerful because every scenes has a special tribute to the movie. In the first five minutes of the film, the audience are proven a gun which give attention and indication that apply the theme of the Shawshank Redemption. The camera skills into a scene like those extreme close-up, turns into connection of the story. It emphasize those different expression and emotion of the actors based on the scenario that can affect the viewers. It is a sort of picture that is called cutaways. This is additionally made in the process and proceed on the connection to parallel editing which emphasize two or greater contemporary sets of actions to outspread within a single film sequence. The process of enhancing that produce tension, shows different factors of view and dramatic irony when the actors are not ready of activities unfolding away from the necessary action. The one types of editing which is cross cutting is also used in the movie. It helps to set up different locations and it shows in the whole film the different settings of the movie. Through the entire film, there are numerous improving arrangement used to add intense and suspense in the movie.

Based on the flashbacks showed in the film, the lightening used a very dark that gives an impact to feel a mysterious and suspense emotion. In every character's movement, it seemed to be not sure in their doing and it looks messy. But it turns out into a proper movements based on the help of the professional like the lawyer in the film.

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Lastly, based on the closing clip, the viewers are proven an aerial view that shows the entire prison that Red has been dispatched too. In that scene, the audience become more attentive for what will happened to Red. The viewers following a bus that full of prisoners, then overtake the bus. After that, there is a shot turns into an aerial view which start off evolved to observe the inmates which are going to greet the new intakes. This sets the target market up for a thrilling, suspense crammed film and audiences.


  1. Goodykoontz, B. & Jacobs, C.P., (2014). Film: From Watching to Seeing, 2nd ed. Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
  2., (2015). Shawshank Redemption Andy entrance. Retrieved from:
  3., (2015). Memorable scenes: Shawshank Redemption morgan freeman-red is free from prison-best scene. Retrieved from:
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Critical Analysis of The Film “The Shawshank Redemption”. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 17, 2024, from
“Critical Analysis of The Film “The Shawshank Redemption”.” GradesFixer, 18 Mar. 2021,
Critical Analysis of The Film “The Shawshank Redemption”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Apr. 2024].
Critical Analysis of The Film “The Shawshank Redemption” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Mar 18 [cited 2024 Apr 17]. Available from:
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