Saturday, February 23, 2013

How does the author portray a turning point in Shawshank Redemption and why is it important:

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In the film Shawshank redemption, director Frank Durabont presents the turning point by using a scene which gives visual indication to the audience that the climax it about to happen soon. He does this through a series of camera shots, scenery and emphasis on the themes of the film as a whole.

This particular scene opens up with a low angle shot of two massive walls that suggest imprisonment and enclosure. The shot has taken special care to show the walls to be dark, dreary and dim that put forward the idea that Andy is taking a psychological step in his head to finally gain his freedom that he has been thinking about all these years.

Other ways Durabont portrays this scene is through Mise-en-scene where everything happens in front of the camera. Props, which are located, are the speakers. The speaker poles give Andy hope to be free as music is the one thing in prison that can be truly yours “that’s the beauty of music. They can’t take that from you”. Music is the one this, which makes you a person, and feels like a free man. Throughout prison Andy depends deeply on music through playing opera on the speakers to give Red a harmonica to show him that hope really can help u survive in prison. Another prop placed in this scene is the weights. Although we know Andy is not a strong person physically we know that mentally he has the strength and the willpower to make it through prison and escape.

Further examples of Durabont portraying this scene is through scenery and Andy’s body language. We now understand that prison is a dark and deceitful place, by emphasis of the prison walls. But in this particular scene Durabont adds a bit of blue sky, which put forwards the idea of freedom and outer life beyond those walls. Andy is placed against the wall in a foetal position which proposes he is weak and been defeated by the warden and prison itself. As we see the contrasting dark prison to light blue skies we see that Andy is taking a step in his head to actually decide what has to be done in prison. With his conversation with Red, he makes it clear that something is about to happen “get busy living or get busy dying”, we know from the way Durabont presented the scene that something has triggered in Andys head and hates the warden enough to betray him and gain his freedom that was his all along.

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Most importantly Frank Durabont filmed this scene to reflect all the main themes in the film. It is important as it makes the audience understand the relationships and themes better through one whole scene. The most important theme used here was freedom. Not only could we see the blue skies suggesting life beyond but also Andy talking about the Pacific Ocean and “how it has no memory”. This dialogue with Red only makes Andy want freedom more as we see him step into the light out of the shadows and prepare himself for what has to come.

Institutionalized is another theme that is deeply brought into the scene. Red is convinced that he would never make it on the outside world, as he would be unimportant with no education whereas in prison he is an important man who can get things. Andy on the other hand uses his friendship with Red to guide him out of those thoughts and coax him leaving and joining him on the other side. Andy uses his hope on Red to show him that “hope is a good thing, maybe the best thing and no good thing ever dies”.

Durabont takes special care with this particular scene as all the themes intertwine with each other and adapt to the visual parts of the scene. This turning point scene is important as it shows Andy moving on from trying to survive in prison to trying to escape from it.





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