"The Shawshank Redemption" is a popular, classic movie. With the release of "The Shawshank Redemption" being made available on DVD, many people who are interested in it still cannot decide what they want to get from the film.
The movie has two strong characters, Red and Andy, that come out of nowhere, spend a whole night searching for each other, and have very little in common to start with. They go through several changes over the course of the movie, and each time they change, the story continues with different circumstances. Many times people watching the movie wonder what the point of this movie was or if there was any real meaning to the entire movie.
Despite the fact that there are theories floating around about the movie's meaning, there is no way that anyone could put their finger on a single meaning for the entire movie, or even for the main character, Red. However, some people have created theories that try to explain exactly what is going on in the movie, or at least hint at what people have noticed.
One theory about "The Shawshank Redemption" comes from Stephen King himself. He believes that this movie is an allegory for the concept of prison itself. He believes that Red is in prison because he went crazy and was not able to find redemption.
Another theory came from Roger Ebert, who stated that the movie is actually about the difference between art and life. When Red first gets out of prison, he declares his love for the beautiful girl in the prison and wants to marry her, but instead, he falls in love with the prison itself and starts wandering around in a hopelessly confused state.
A more popular theory comes from the author, Tom Clancy. In the book, "Patriot Games," Clancy states that he intended for the movie to bean allegory about the War on Terror, and the anti-war movement. He states that the movies were primarily meant to be a movie about redemption came when Andy found redemption by killing a thug who had killed his girlfriend.
While these are not the only theories, the most popular theories that can be seen at the time of this writing are centered around two different ideas, one that Red is in prison and another that the movie is an allegory for the War on Terror. Although they seem to have different meanings, they both help to explain the way that the characters behave throughout the movie. By looking at all the different theories that have been developed, you can see where the similarities end and the differences begin.
If you decide to watch the movie for yourself, you should look at these theories and take them as a guide. If one theory seems to fit better than another, it might be worth your while to use that as a stepping stone towards understanding the movie better. As you watch the movie, you will hopefully see the meaning for yourself, which will allow you to understand why some people enjoy it, and why others do not.