The Shawshank Redemption

“Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.” What am I talking about? Thats the tagline from one of my favorite movie of all time: The Shawshank Redemption!

I remember it was back in 1995 when I got the movie on video. I was only watching it primarily because it is an adaption of the novella written by Stephen King. I wanted to see how well the adaptation is. In the process, I got much more that just a movie. I got a life lesson.

In short, the story is told from Red’s (Morgan Freeman) point of view. He is convicted of a crime and is in prison, which is called Shawshank. Andy (Tim Robbins) is wrongly convicted of a crime and is also sent to the prison. He goes through a very difficult time initially, being beaten and raped, but then, as he talks to Red, ultimately says what forms the crux of the movie: you either get busy dying, or get busy living! At the time, I did not really pay much attention, but as I watched the movie several times more, I let that one line affect me more and more. Andy, who goes through a difficult time in prison, ultimately chooses to live his life, and not let all the unfortunate circumstances bog him down. Andy’s actions affect Red, and Red ultimately finds himself, and realizes who he is as a person, and when he arrives at the parole office, he is freed after convincing the parole officers about his convictions and what he learned from his time in prison. It is the Shawshank prison where Red redeems himself.

What was heart-warming for me though was what the tag line says: FEAR can hold you prisoner, but, HOPE can set you free. I can let fear take control of me, and it can be fear of smallest of small things (like lizards and cockroaches) to public speaking, to presentations, to marriage to fear of death. But I can reverse my thinking, and instead of fear, can begin to hope. I can hope for a successful out come of public speaking, hope the jury likes my presentations, hope for a successful marriage and hope for a life in heaven in the afterlife. Once I begin to hope, I know there is personal freedom. I think like a new person, someone who is set free by the hope, and not captivated by fear.

This movie has become one of my favorite movie, because it is a great metaphor for how life should be lived. Plus it has one of the best twists in the movie, long before the Sixth Sense came out! The movie did not do too well when it came out on the theatres, and people shied away from it. Once it came out on video, it became a classic. Now it is one of the most watched movies. I would highly recommend you to watch it. If you have seen it, would love to know what you thought about it! 🙂

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