Ten Reasons Why The Shawshank Redemption is a bit Stupid
Okay, pump your brakes all you film experts with zero imagination! I know this is your baby and I must stress something to you: I AM NOT SAYING IT IS A BAD FILM. It is a good film. Certainly, it is undeniable It is well made. What I am saying is that it is overrated, it is derivative, and it is absurd. Suspension of disbelief is an important thing to remember, but it is not a licence. Basic laws of physics and cause and effect must be included and respected
So, in no order, ten reasons to justify my upsetting of the legions of film fans with little time to pick a favourite:
Brookes feeding Jake the maggot from Andy’s plate, the relationship with a well-respected black man, the library job, the unwanted homosexual advance and the swift removal from the story of the perp of said advance, and other numerous examples, I have but three words: Escape From Alcatraz. That amazing and underrated Clint Eastwood movie with better Eastwood lines than Dirty Harry, and more pathos than Shawshank. Watch it.
Then you could look at the themes and go to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. There are tropes and them to explore and whilst Shawshank does run its own course with these things, it must be more recognised that it was a very unoriginal story.
2: Correctional Procedures
In a prison environment, there is not one prisoner who has been in the same cell for that long in any prison in the world. In jails prisoners are moved and altered for several reasons. Andy would have never stayed that long in one cell, let alone the same prison although granted there are underlying reasons for that, but even so, as influential and corrupt as Glenn was, a warden is not judge and jury. If it suited the state to move him, it would have happened. Probably to another prison at least once, but without any doubt to another cell, multiple times. Thus negating the entire premise
What terrible lawyer allowed Andy to get convicted? No prints, no witness, no ballistics, conjecture, hearsay, opinions without objection, and the most ineffective defence since Stir Crazy or Con Air. Blatch was said to have robbed them yet no money was missing. Andy was sat in his car and there was no leaves, mud, or tread marks found in the golf-pro's home. Add to that Elmo Blatch confessed to his cellmate so easily, his big mouth would have gotten him in trouble over this, he was hardly a brain, and would have left a whole mess of forensic Easter-eggs for the police to find. If he boasted to Tommy he would have boasted to others.
4: The Pipe
A simple research error, but I do not believe sewage outlet pipes are made from china. Try breaking into a pipe like that with a rock. Then make it a big enough hole to get through. Also, more importantly, find me a prison in the world that would have any man-size pipe feeding into a river without a bend in it or a mesh separator, at which point Andy would have just died a claustrophobic hell of a death, as he could not turn and no-way crawl backwards. Its a cartoon-level absurdity. Also, on that subject, as this ready made prisoner escape-tunnel was being installed, how come no architect, engineer, installer, or warden said:
"Hang on! We are supplying a straight man-sized escape tunnel here. Lets put a non-return valve or a reducer length in." Story over.
Plus, crawling that far in a cramped and unventilated tunnel full of faeces, he would have died from particles inhaled and swallowed. He would have been vomiting and fevered and by the next day would go on to develop dysentery or some such infection. Three hours in the impossible tube breathing in poo-particles and he didn't catch a fatal disease? Sorry but no.
5: What if?
What if the bank manager thought:
“Hey, you have just cost us a hell of an investor, how about stick your outgoing mail up your ass sonny!” Then just tossed it in the bin?
Okay, lets say they didn't do that, it is still slapdash. Andy spends decades planning this caper. After all that he relies on some random bank clerk to do it for you. Imagine she had not done it, or it got lost. This is a man who travelled to a village in the middle of nowhere, buried a tin with cash and a note in a painfully specific location. This pinpoint, painstaking procedure was for something needing to be found years later when he was safely hidden away in a non-extradition treaty country. He would not leave a clue or any specifics even then Yet for the most important act in his dastardly revenge scheme he relied on a total stranger and handed his vital and incriminating evidence to them on the possible chance they would see to it getting an unregistered postal delivery? No sale.
6: Short Sighted Warden
He kills Tommy because he knows the truth about Andy. Clever, except that killing Tommy was not conclusive. Yes, he could have testified, but he was damaged goods. Someone with a close personal relationship with Andy, without Elmo Blatch his knowledge was useless. No judge would overturn with such involved relationships and bias. So surely, a man as shrewd as the warden would not have killed Tommy but located Elmo and killed him. With Elmo alive, Andy is still able to pursue it, but if Blatch had been killed “trying to escape” then the case was over.
7: I mean seriously, how often do you really look at a man’s shoes?
ALL THE F**KING TIME, RED! Go in to work or down the pub tomorrow, wear unsuited shoes, someone will notice and comment right away. Walk into a shop, have a bit of tissue stuck to your shoes and you will see how often someone glances at it. People ALWAYS notice shoes. It was a ridiculous justification and a totally spurious one
8: Red after the escape.
No way in hell the warden would just accept Red saying “Well what?”, I was surprised Byron didn’t cave in Red’s skull for that flippant remark alone. He beat a man in front of twenty witnesses for asking for food, so sassing the warden would have earned a slap.. Either way, you cannot try and tell me that a sociopath like the warden would have believed Red just on his say so. He would have tortured him. Badly, possibly to death. Thanks a bunch Andy, Enjoy your hotel and boat, a**hole.
Ask anyone who has served time what speaking to a Parole Board like that will get you. Insult his job, integrity, and motives. See what answer you get. Also, Brookes need only have played up in his last few days, got caught drinking, or disrespect the officers and he would have lost his parole immediately.
HE WOULD NEVER HAVE REMEMBERED THAT F**KING TOWN NAME!!!!!!!
Missed out mentions: Digging a three foot wide tunnel through a concrete wall would severely affect the structural integrity of the wall and the whole building
So please do not think I am calling it a failure, I am aware that most films will not bear too close an examination. I just feel that TSR is a little too entrenched in suspension of disbelief and that considering the position it holds it warrants re-addressing.
Also, “it explains it in the book” is not an acceptable justification
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