Andy Dufresne sees the truth but waits in Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Darabont cuts through the ‘tough on crime’ status quo of 1990s USA, with Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman’s performances of Andy Dufresne and ‘Red’ giving us a refreshing and strangely appropriate humanisation of male prisoners, basing their journey through the prison on camaraderie and a moving strife for individuality.
Recently we have seen a wave of exploration into women’s prisons in shows like Orange Is the New Black and Locked Up, but Darabont displays a diverse range of male characters, from the unwavering perseverance of Andy, to the tragic story of Brooks who is unable to reintegrate into society after spending 50 years in prison.
We, as an audience, are accustomed to male prisoners being inherently predatory, showing brutal masculinity to survive, but Andy Dufresne and Red survive on altruism, cooperation, and undying hope.
Watch the trailer below: