Shawshank Redemption

To define a specific target audience in this case I would say that the the makers of this film have tried to aim it towards men and women between the ages of 25 and 40 and categories A-C1 in the Registar’s General Scale. This is because parts of the film have intellectual messages and this causes you to think about what is going on in the film. At certain points in the film the director all so lures you into a false sense of security making you think about what is going to happen next and the audience thinks the most obvious thing but the director then changes what preconceptions you may have of the story to something that might not happen.

Once he has done this once it leaves you wondering all the way through the film. One example of how he does this is when at the start of the film you see the lead chracter in the court room and hearing how he has killed his wife, and it the shows back flash’s of him with a gun and loading it. The audience automactically comes to there own conclusion that he is guilty when he is sent to prison. But the audince will come to analyse there decision of his guiltyness when a new prisoner arrives at the prison and explains to the main character how he has heard a story of an imate at a previous prison that he killed the main characters wife. This encourages us to be and active audience and get involveed with the film and think about what is going on, and the use of the Uses and Gratification model. We watch this film for information and insit into to prison and just system in America in the 1950’s onwards and for entertainment.

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The narrative of this film can be broken down into the 6 stages of Todorvo’s narrative structure. At the start of the film the first stage of exposition sets the scene of the main character in the court room and him being found guilty. This situation then develop’s into him going to prison and we start to learn more about him and he makes friends in the prison, Red. There is then a complication that arises when the main character has the opportunity to leave the prison, but as the main character is doing work in prison for the warden, and the warden doesnt want him to leave because if he does he wil have no one to launder money into the prison and will get found out, the main character already has a plan to escape and at this stage relises that if he doesnt escape he will never leave the prison.

The climax in the film arises when the main actually puts his plan into action and escapes from the prison and the warden is furious when he finds out what has happened. The resolution to the problem of leaveing without him being caught comes when he puts his final plan into action when sendsinformation about this money laundering to the police and clears out the warden’s bank accounts and ends up being really rich. The police then go to the prison to arrest the warden he then pulls out his gun and loads it the audience then expect him to kill the police or attepted to escape from being arrested but he ends up killing himself. The closure to the film comes when Red a freind of the main character is granted parole and leaves, and then meets up with the main character. The films follows a non-linear pattern, because there are occasions when we are shown flash backs of the main character escaping and starting to dig the tunnel in the wall for him to escape.

The genre of this film is obvious because it displays distictive icons that an audience would usually associate with a prison drama, such as, harsh prison life with no possetions, horrible food, having to smuggle in cigarettes, that are considered a luxury and a bargaining tool for other things among inmates. There is also a small element of comedy, when the director uses irony to display how the main character would feel when he has defeated the warden after all his efferts to stop him from leaveing the prison.

There is no real soundtrack to the film but the director does include diegetic and non-diegetic sound in a few of the scenes. At the beginning of the film when the main character is in court and the prosecution are asking him and suggesting to him how he killed his wife and lover, while he is doing so the film cuts to the main character loading the gun and then to another scene with his wife and her lover enjoying a moment of passion. The same happens when you hear Red explain how the main character would enjoy driving in a convertable car down the freeway to a destination and then the audience actually see this. Red, Morgan Freeman acts as a narrator during this part.

The director uses enigma codes during the film the make the audience think about what is happening and all so to pose questions to the audience. This happens when the pick that the main character uses to dig a tunnel to escape from the prison arrives or is smuggled inside a bible, and a bible often symbolises salvation or freedom from the wrongs you’ve committed. The director all so uses action codes to warn the audience that some action is going to accur. This happens when the main character escapes from the prison and the warden is made extremly angry by this and almost ammedietly after that there is man hunt for the main character in the surroundijng areas of the prison.

One of the camera shots used n the film is when we are shown the stablishing shot of the dining hall where all the inmates eat their dinner, this gives us more informaion about how many people were actually in this prison at this time, and how over crowded they were. Extreme close up is also used alot in the film to emphasise the point, for emample when the warden is the the main character’s sell and throws a rock at the Rita Hayworth poster and it goes throught it the camera zooms in on the whole made by the rock.

The main character in the film is Andy Dufrane. From the start ht audience is under the beleif that he is guilty and deserves to be in prison for the crime, but the audience then discovers that he isnt guilty at all but the warden stops him from leaveing. Red, Andy’s freind plays the stereotypical wiser older freind who advises Andy to not do things but he still does them anyway. Red has been in the prison for a long time since he was a teenager and regrets ever commmiting the crime. The colours used in the film are more than often very dull dark to symbolise the wrongs the people have commited, and the very harsh prison life. But when Andy ecapes form the prison the colours change to very bright ones and to a sunny location, to symbolise Andy’s freedom. This is the same when Red is released from prison and decides to meet with Andy.


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