Movie Musings

Movie Musings | Shawshank Redemption

(Moving Musings are my thoughts on some of the all-time greats in cinema. I love story and the power that comes with it, so I thought it would be fun to occasionally post about them. Also, there shall be spoilers. If interested in past Movie Musings, just click here!)

“Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.” Andy in Shawshank Redemption

I fell in love with this movie the first time I saw it (which I think was in college). Why is this one of the best? The storyline is incredible, it’s portrayed so well, the ending and the underlining theme of hope. It’s one of Stephen King’s finest (sidenote: how does he write a story like this and then some of the most nightmare-ish horror films?!!).

It’s still one of my favorite movies of all time.

There’s one scene where, after one of their old time buddies, Brooks, kills himself after getting out (he’d been there for decades and wasn’t able to cope with the new outside world), Andy was in the Warden’s office and played music over the speakers that belted it out to the fields and all the inmates. He locked himself in the office, so they had to break down the door to get in, but for a few moments those inmates heard something beautiful. He ended up getting a week in solitary for the act.

When he got out all his buddies asked him why he did it.

Andy: “Hope.”

Red: “Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. It’s got no use on the inside. You better get used to that idea.”

Andy” “Like Brooks did?”

Red gets up from the table angry. Andy later gives him a harmonica, but that was a profound moment, showing what people can become if they give up on hope. Yet, even with it all Andy never does.

Later, Andy continues to struggle, especially after his young friend Tommy gets murdered by the Warden because Tommy had the evidence needed to prove Andy was innocent (he was in jail for the murder of his wife and the man she was having an affair with).

Andy gets two months in solitary and after threatening to stop helping the Warden with his shady schemes, the Warden comes back with more death threats on his friends.

He finally gets out and Red immediately knows something is different. Yet, even with that Andy tells Red about Zihuatanejo, the little town he’ll go to when he gets out.

Red tells him to stop with his pipe dream since they aren’t getting out. Andy’s response?

“It comes down to a simple choice really, get busy living or get busy dying.”

“Get busy living or get busy dying.”

He makes Red promise him to find the a volcano rock and box in a field. He gives him nothing more than how to find it, but he gets him to promise to find it. Andy does escape in his brilliant dig through the walls scheme and makes it to beautiful Zihuatanejo.

A little time later, Red gets paroled after decades locked up. He follows through with Andy’s promise and heads out to Mexico to meet him.

Red’s final quote heading out to Mexico to meet his friend Andy is a perfectly fitting one:
“I hope I can make it across the border.
I hope to see my friend and shake his hand.
I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams.
I hope.”

Sidenote: I absolutely love Red’s character. It helps that Morgan Freeman portrayed him masterfully, but the character himself is great and I love him as the narrator.

“Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.”

While I know this story wasn’t written with the Gospel in mind, I love that a story will still draw you to THE Story our hearts are all longing for and the HOPE we have in that.

“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7

Hope is a beautiful beautiful thing friends.

Have y’all seen this movie?

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