Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Shawshank Rebellion - Can Movies Help Us To Write Better



The Shawshank Rebellion is one of those movies I still think about even though it's been a few years since I watched it. I recently found some notes I wrote after viewing it. and as I start on book five in the Seventh Dimension Series, I am reminded about what made this movie so memorable to me.

Here are my thoughts after viewing it as part of my Masters in Creative Writing.

The most powerful scene was the last scene, when the two characters, Andy Dufresne and Bogs Diamond, reunite in Zihuatanejo, after serving their prison sentences. Of course, without the powerful scenes before and the setup, it wouldn’t have had the punch or the afterglow for the take-away. Plus I have been to Zihuatanejo – and so I know how beautiful it is.

The most powerful scenes before the last scene included:

When Andy Dufresne arrived at the prison initially and he and the others were looked upon as jail meat by the inmates. 

The long corridors of the jail where the inmate population were housed. 

The opera music that was piped loudly through the jail as the inmates stood frozen in the courtyard listening. 

The newly finished library; the completed tunnel that was discovered behind the picture of the movie star; the emptying of the dirt through the pants leg of Andy Dufresne from his tunneling. 

The scene where Bogs uncovers the note from Andy toward the end; the scene where the old man after being released from jail is almost run over by a car. 

The voiceover says the outside world moves too fast. He had only seen a couple of cars before he was put in prison and now there are so many. 

The little bird that the man was hiding in his jacket, he gave him a worm from Andy Dufresne’s food; and the powerful scene when the crow was released. The first bird symbolized the prisoners, but yet being taken care of; the second bird symbolized the old man being set free.

The Shawshank Rebellion spoke to my heart; we are all prisoners on some level, in some aspect of our life, but we can be set free and not lose hope.  And may I not become like the warden, who carried a Bible and quoted Scripture, yet was a crook and a cheat.

The best movies are those that strike a nerve and cause us to question the status quo; what we feel, think, and believe at our core. Few movies do that—at least for me—and to bring it back to writing stories, do not the best books do the same in our hearts? Redemption is paramount, and The Shawshank Rebellion gives the reader what we all want: To be redeemed. To feel valued. 

Now that I've been challenged with a reminder from the past of what I want in movies, books, and life in general, hopefully I can deliver to my readers that kind of redemption in the fifth and final book in the Seventh Dimension Series.

Now off to outlining and writing!

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