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Shawshank Redemption – Key Sence Essay Essay

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The key scene studied was “Beer on the Roof” from Shawshank Redemption. This scene reflects both the ideas and features of this film. The ideas in this film are that innocent people can be institutionalised, institutions work on fear and violence which does not fulfil the aim of institutions and that compliance can be achieved through violence and corruption. The features in the film are the film techniques – Language, Camera Angles, Lighting, Music, Characterisation and Setting. In the scene “Beer on the Roof” the setting has moved from inside to a building near the perimeter where it feels as if it is outside. For the first time you see the green of grass and trees in the background. You get a new aspect of the jail from the grey, oppressive, towering walls to the openness and brightness of the roof.

Characterisation is a major technique used in this scene. This scene is the turning point for Andy’s life in prison. The scene begins with Andy alone in the laundry looking depressed. He has been in prison for 2 years and has been repeatedly beaten and raped by “the sisters”. While on the roof Andy keeps listening in on the guards’ conversation. He ends up talking about tax schemes with the chief guard. He breaks a deal that he’ll help the chief guard with his tax if each of his co-workers can have 3 beers each. The scene ends with Andy watching the other men drink with a strange smile on his face because he knows he’s done something better. The camera angles in this scene add to the ideas of the film.

The scene is characterised by the use of wide shots which show the contrast between the expanse of the roof and the confinement of the jail. The other shot that is used to effect is the close up of Andy when he has been threatened by the guard, hanging over the edge of the roof and at the end of the scene when Andy is smiling. The lighting in this scene is another major technique used to add to the film.

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