Spoiler Alert – Flashback Comparison – Shawshank Redemption(1994) & Trainspotting(1996)

Spoiler Alert – Flashback Comparison – Shawshank Redemption(1994) & Trainspotting(1996)

In both films, Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Trainspotting (1996), both protagonists are in a struggle and want to be freed from the life they are living. The parallels of injustice and pain for each protagonist are unique but not dissimilar. In Trainspotting, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) is struggling to find his place in life and trapped in the throes of heroin addiction seemingly cycling through ups and downs. All were eventually coming to a point where he decides to change his life for the good, finally, but not without its moral costs—ultimately leading to creating a new identity. In Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is framed for his wife’s murder and subsequently sentenced to prison. A former banker and put into a place where he knows he doesn’t belong and compels him to appeal to the warden, and from there, he is treated like his pet. The warden succeeds in having corruptive prison programs, and Andy runs the books, the warden is coercive and controlling throughout the film until he helps another inmate get his GED. Helping others was his outlet and with the warden all too eager to control and manipulate him every turn. Making the struggle to adjust to life inside even more difficult to want to stay. After the warden kills his friend, Andy’s character is finally tested and escapes Shawshank prison, but not without sticking it the warden in the last twenty minutes of the film. Now both these films cinematically and metaphorically tell how the protagonist is put into a challenging position. Both find a way out that each first person and second person narrative in voiceover, displays an overarching and cathartic experience to see and feel how both are overcoming great odds and make the films enjoyable. The themes in each film illustrate the darkness of their pain and the lightness of healing from the pain.

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