Shawshank Book vs Film

Shawshank Redemption
“Rita Haywort and the Shawshank Redemption was first presented in 1982, by Stephen King and hooked the hearts of the world’s readers. Literature reviews were immediately written about the book and quickly recognized as one of the years best. Rek Rehn, a book reviewer for Mouth Wrote: “This book is the jewel of the crown, a tender tale of hope, friendship and retribution.” Years later in 1994, Shawshank Redemption was again recognized by a wider audience. It was released as a major motion picture directed by Frank Darabont. The film presented very respectable actors, such as Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. “The Shawshank Redemption creates a warm hold on our feelings because it makes us a member of a family. Many movies offer us vicarious experiences and quick, superficial emotions. Shawshank slows down and looks,” said Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. Although Shawshank Redemption is a excellent film, it is interesting to see that three obvious times the movie goes astray are when the director Mr. Darabont, chose to revise Kings book. It was not a good idea in all three cases. Steven king was the one with the better idea.

The first case is the beer scene. In the book, the guard gives beer to the inmates re-tarring the roof, as Andy had asked just like in the film, but the beer is warm in the book. Red even makes the point that it did not matter. “That beer was piss-warm, but is was still the best I ever had in my life” (37). Just drinking a beer in the sunlight made him feel like a free man. In the film the beer is served on ice. This does not make a very good point. Clancy Brown played Byron Hadley, captain of the guard, who was a nasty and brutal man that had the position of the warden’s right hand man. A guy who gives beatings left and right each time showing the audience a little more about whom his character really is. There’s no way he would have done one extra thing than the minimum his deal with Andy required. This might be a small thing to point out, but it shows the director’s desire to smooth over and gloss up the story.

Red’s search for the tree in the film makes it seem like he finds the fence and the tree almost immediately. He was only dropped off and just looked around for a while and there it was. “A rock with no earthly business in a Maine hayfield” (99). There is a paragraph of description in the book that could have been used as a good voice-over for the film. Therefore, not adding on more second to the running time, but really improving the moment in the story. In the book, Red talks about looking every weekend for weeks, walking around not knowing if the spot he is looking for had turned into a shopping center or a housing project. Why cut this part out of the movie? For all the viewer knows, the director may not of had enough time to fit in such a small yet important part to the film.
The last scene of the film is just like the beer subject mentioned earlier. The director continues to make his so-called improvements. The book ends with Red traveling to Mexico. ” I hope Andy is down there. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope” (101). He does not know if he’s going to find Andy but he has regained his ability to hope. That rebirth of optimism is the true happy ending. The kissy face reunion on the beach while the theme music grows louder is just a bit of overkill and it obviously shows that the director did not trust the book. It was all their no schmaltzy excess was required.
The director’s ability to make this movie great was there, but one might wonder if it could have been better if Darabont took a more detailed approach toward the book. Mr. Darabont did something right though to have his movie receive seven nominations at the academy awards. This point of view shows that nothing is perfect and that anything looked at with a different perspective can be better. The book takes us deep into the physiological insights, a place that may never be created by the film.