Welcome to The Shawshank Analysis!

  • Learn key facts about the movie.
  • Read interpretation of the plot and technique used within the hit film.
  • Examine how lighting, sound, decor and other aspects affect symbolism and metaphors within the film.


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  • Examine the background of the film, while taking into consideration the following: has the screenplay been adapted from another work such as a novel, play, etc.? What viewpoint is the audience being asked to take? Is the audience being asked to watch the movie from the viewpoint of a teenager or as a parent? Who is the director and is this film similar to their previous works? Answer

  • What kinds of meaning could one infer from the title of this film? How does the title relate to the film? What were your impressions of the movie's opening? Did it influence your perception of what the film was about? Answer

  • Choose a main or supporting character from the film and do a character analysis, noting any changes in values and/or behaviour. Do your initial impressions of the characters change during the course of the film? Answer

  • Summarize the plot of the film. Identify three or four of the most important scenes in the film and explain how these scenes had an effect on the outcome. What is the film's central message or theme? What is the story's central purpose? What view of life does it support or what insight into life does it reveal? Answer

  • Were any particular film techniques used in key scenes? Discuss how the film techniques (cinematography) enhance the setting and themes of the film. Does the director use any distinctive camera shots or angles to emphasize action, character or mood? Answer

  • What is the function of the sound, lighting, setting and décor (location, sets, props and costumes)? How do they contribute to the mood of the film? Answer

  • Does this film provide a satisfactory conclusion or is the ending open to more than one interpretation? How "real" is this film? Does the film seem like a highly-edited production or an uncomplicated production? Answer