The Shawshank Redemption

Next on my to-watch list: Hot Fuzz (2007)

One of my favourite movies of all time is The Shawshank Redemption (1994). I love movies that put life into perspective like ‘The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), Awakenings (1990), What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) or Schindler’s List (1993). Ah and let’s not forget about Whiplash (2014) or The Life of Pi (2012). Movies that do not skirt around the heavier side of the human experience.

To be honest, I think I just like movies that remind me that there’s always hope, to see the good in the bad and to trust the process because The Shawshank Redemption encapsulates all of these qualities that I yearn for and I’m still learning to anchor myself on. I heavily rely on any representation of hope or progress; be it music, movies, artworks and rarely, people because sad to say, I don’t have that much hope and confidence in myself. Ideally, I wouldn’t have to resort to outsourcing belief in myself to an outside source but not being able to cultivate this growing up, this is my go-to means of you know, feeling secure about where I am in life, the life I’m living, what I’m doing. It’s not a complete safeguard to a perpetual identity crisis but it does help a lot when I need to force perspective.

Side note: Why I rarely look to people for security? Because people are my main source of doubt and anxiety. If I cannot trust them to take care of my beloved pets, I can’t ask them to take care of me especially not when the most recent person I’ve trusted betrayed, shot and buried my self-esteem.

So back to The Shawshank Redemption, why do I like this movie so much? Spoilers ahead.

Can you imagine being thrown into jail for life for a crime that you didn’t commit? One of my biggest fears is going to prison and an even bigger fear is being jailed for something I didn’t do because from the get-go, you would immediately know that, unless you prove your innocence, your life’s defenestrated. I can’t imagine what life in jail is like and knowing that you’re innocent and knowing that you could be doing something else with your life, hopefully, for the betterment of society, yourself and/or, your family, is terrifying.

There are two parts to this quick exposition: one, hoping and trusting the process and two, making the most out of your current situation. Basically, that’s what the main character, Andy, did. It was 19 years before he attained freedom but then, he did something good during those long years. He also had to endure sexual harassment and isolation but he also made friends and made intelligent moves that paid off in the end.

I’m not jailed or anything but I feel very much trapped in my own situation and maybe, even by my sadness because of recent events. This movie almost mirrors that sentiment down to the tittle of an i. Hence why I watched it. It’s a good reminder that no matter where you are, no matter what situation you’re in, you’ll get out of the pit you’re in as long as you have a good head on your shoulders, a purpose in mind and a friend to make your life a little bit sweeter.

The most important thing is to keep at it, to hope and to trust the process. You’ll get where you need to be.



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