My Favourite Film: The Shawshank Redemption

Written by karishmaj

People may not have a favourite food or book, but something everyone has is a favourite film due to the fact that cinema is something everyone can enjoy. So, here at Kettle we will be running a weekly feature on our editors, and some regular writers, favourite films.

Second up is a regular correspondent, arts lover and Kettle’s own book editor Karishma Jobanputra. Be aware of spoilers.

What is your favourite film?

This was an unbelievably difficult choice and I was weighing up the pros and cons of a lot of different films and managed to narrow it down to The Help and The Shawshank Redemption. The Shawshank Redemption took the biscuit though and it’s earned it’s place as my number one film.

When, and where, was the first time you saw this film? Was it a particularly memorable day/company/experience?

I studied this film for my English Literature GCSE coursework. We had to look at the way Frank Darabont, the director, indicates the passage of time. It was such an amazing film though, which meant I had absolutely no idea what to write for the essay even after we watched it in class. I was too enthralled by the brilliant acting and the plot to be focusing on the way that the passing of time was shown. It was when we were about fifteen, so still at that tittering age when anything remotely connected to sex requires awkward looking around and discreet looks at your friends to see how they react, but everyone bypassed those norms with this film because it was so engaging.


Favourite character and why?

My favourite character has got to be Red, played Morgan Freeman. He is just so self-assured and provides some humour throughout the film which is definitely needed. Plus, he turns out to be an amazing friend for Andy (the main character) and is always so honest, even when it comes to admitting his reason for being prison, making him a complex character we want to know more about. Freeman’s acting is exceptional too, and we almost cry for Red when (spoiler alert!) he’s released from prison and finds it difficult to adjust to life on the outside. A great character portrayed by a great actor.

Favourite scene?

The last scene of the film has to be one of the best scenes in film, ever. It is just so touching and poignant. I have been nicknamed a robot by several friends because I rarely cry, but no matter what I’m always in tears at the end of this film. The ending is just everything you need it to be, it ends so perfectly without being cliched. It’s clever and exactly what we hope for whilst still being credible and emotive.

Favourite quote?

When Andy (Tim Robbins) says: “I had to come to prison to be a crook.” Oh, the irony.

Who would you like to be in the film?

I’m not sure I want to be anyone in the film considering it’s mainly set in a prison and the Warden and all the prison staff are despicable! After a lot of mulling it over…(spoiler alert!) can I be the guy who (finally) approves Red’s parole?

Why is it your favourite?

The brilliance of this film just cannot be overstated. It is one of those rare films that, when you finish  it, you feel like you’ve actually gained something meaningful from it. It is so moving and real, the story ends how you want it to without being cliched and the ideas and themes woven throughout make you think, but not in an annoying way. So many themes are explored-friendship, hope, determination, what freedom really is-but it’s so watchable. Yet, even though there’s a serious look at these elements, there are great moments of humour and irony, which one would think impossible in a film set in a prison. It was also nominated for seven academy awards but won none- a complete travesty! Being hard done by makes me love the film even more, naturally. Touching, thought provoking, shocking, real…all these can quite accurately describe my favourite film. If you haven’t watched it yet, you need to stop reading right now and get ahold of it.