Friday, November 14, 2008


Recently I had a chance to watch “The Shawshank Redemption” (credits to JT), starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.

The movie is basically about the lives of the prisoners in Shawshank prison. I noticed one thing about prison movies – they always portray inmates as nice and good people, usually treated unfairly by the prison guards.

Recently also watched a documentary on an American Prison (I forgot which one) and apparently, the most ruthless and dangerous criminals inhabit that place. I guess everyone knows that prison isn’t what you call a fancy place. You get beaten up just like that if you are in the wrong place, wrong time or just because you’re in the wrong gang.

According to the documentary, the inmates all say that it is important to have a gang, so that your B-U-T-T is protected. Also, it's important to do whatever the gang leader tells you to, if not you’re dead. So basically, if your gang leader asked you to beat someone up, you have to, even though you risk being caught and then be sentence to a few more years in prison. In prison, you have to get your hands dirty for survival.

Also, there are transparent lines in the fields of the prison. According to the prisoners, each gang has their own areas, and they have to stick to their own areas. If they cross the invisible border, they will get beaten up, and that’s when fights among tribes happen. For example, the basketball court belongs to the African-American, the baseball to the Latinos etc.

I don't know why I'm giving you tips on prison life. Haha...really hope you guys don't need to use them. *touch wood*

Basically, when I watch “The Shawshank Redemption”, it does give a similar depiction of what a real prison is like, except that in the documentary, the warden is kind but in the movie, the warden is evil. Well, usually in all prison movies, the warden is the villain. Remember “The Longest Yard” and “The Last Castle”?

But at least justice is served at the end of “The Shawshank Redemption”. Yes, although we all know that in reality, sometimes, there is no such thing. People with power and the $ usually control the weak and the poor. If injustice is really happening in those prison, who knows right?

In the movies, yes, the lead actor manages to escape from prison, with a new identity and a luxurious life in some beautiful island. Well, we still watch shows like this to feel better about life, to give ourselves hope.

In fact, the most memorable line from the movie:- The lead character saying to Morgan Freeman “Hope is a good thing.”

Hope - Believe or not, I really in believe "HOPES". Even though sometimes, when hopes get to high, you’ll get hurt deeper. But sometimes, when we wish or hope, we might just get what we want. Sometimes I guess, we should never stop believing.

Black or White?

I really like prison movies. It shows us that there’s a thin line between evil and good. You think that the cops are good people? Well, they can be as merciful or even worst than the criminals.

2nd Chances
- People make mistakes and I guess that these movies also remind us to understand these inmates. They, too, are normal human beings, and sometimes, they deserve a second chance.

Intelligence & Patience - I truly admire Tim Robbin's character is in the movie. His perseverance, wisdom and intelligence - that’s what got him out of jail. He might be the mysterious, quiet type, who doesn’t know how to express himself, but deep down, he is a darn intelligent man. And to think that he was in jail for a crime he did not commit, that’s just so unfair.

Is there such a thing as justice served? - Sometimes, you watch crime & justice shows and it really makes you laugh. They create the stories as though justice is served every time. The characters talked as if they would do their best to find the truth and evidence. I’m so sorry but the truth is, sometimes, you just get tortured during investigation and you have to admit it just because you can’t take it. Or worst, you are just freakin’ unlucky and all evidence just happens to point at you. Whatever it is, I just pray that I don’t have to land myself into these situations. I’ve heard stories about lock-up. Cops ain’t friends.

Friendships - “The Shawshank Redemption” is also about friendship. Let’s just say that, I think that some of the best friends are made with those who had actually gone through hard times with you. And true friends are also those who don’t run away when you are in trouble. I think that I’m lucky enough to have a few of these really good friends.

The part which made me cry like hell (excuse me for being such a loser, but I can’t stand watching old people sad) was the part when one inmate, Brooks, who was release on parole, committed suicide. He was old and he just ain’t used to the life outside of prison. I guess I can totally understand that. He has to try to fit into society that is new to him, he goes home to a lonely four-walled bedroom, lonely and I think also missing all his friends in prison.

Plus it is true when they say, in prison, he is a librarian, but outside, he is really nobody, or worst, perceived as an ex-convict. Even for me, fitting in a new place and being lonely is hard to bear, let alone an old man, like him. I can totally relate to Brooks though I am maybe multiple years younger than him. Let’s just say for me, loneliness is my biggest fear haha.

But Thank God Morgan Freeman didn’t kill himself like Brooks.

Do I even have to rate this? One of the BEST movies EVER!! Not watching it means losing out on a classic...

TC-My Rating:

With LotSa Lurve,

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"I love movies for its subjectivity. A movie is debatable. A single scene can mean a million things and the fun part is talking about them."