Every cinephile knows what’s the best rated movie on IMDb. But have you ever wondered what makes ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ so popular? And more pertinently, what is The Shawshank Redemption about? When you ask the same question to other cinephiles, the most common answer you get is “oh, it is so cool” or “that ending, man”. But does that explain its ratings on IMDb? Probably not!
Before we get into the actual reasons, I think it is important to understand its plot.
‘The Shawshank Redemption’ tells the story of goodness and virtues of an undeservedly wronged man. It tells a story of patience and perseverance. Originally a novella, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King, and adapted on screen in 1994, this movie continues to inspire people across the globe. It was directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman as the primary characters.
Andy Dufresne, the lead character played by Tim Robbins, is convicted of murdering his wife and lover and is sentenced to serve two life sentences back to back at Shawshank State Penitentiary. And he forms an exclusive friendship with Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, a fellow convict and in-jail smuggler. Andy, being a banker before being convicted, helps Hadley, the captain of the guards in legally exempting a monetary inheritance from taxation. This scene is incredibly fantastic; you will find yourself coming back to this remarkable scene.
When Andy is brutally harassed by Bogs’ and his gang, Hadley almost beats Bogs to death. And Andy is asked to assist elderly inmate Brooks with the prison library. This assignment is a ruse, so that other prison employees can avail his expertise in financial matters. As time passes, the warden also starts using Andy for various financial matters including money laundering.
Meanwhile Andy upgrades the prison library drastically for better opportunities for the inmates. A new convict, Tommy Williams joins them as time passes. He reveals that an inmate at the previous prison had admitted to the crime for which Andy was being punished for. On disclosing the same to the warden to prove his innocence, the warden has Tommy killed and threatens him. Having no other option, Andy relents and continues with the previous jail routine.