The Shawshank Redemption – review

“The fourth best film to watch while in-flight”. OK, much as I wish I could leave things there, that’s a slightly unfair description – particularly when the films that beat it were Bridesmaids, The Hangover and Meet the Parents. But the Gatwick Airport “survey” gets closer than you’d think. Overlong, perilously sentimental, narrated to within an inch of its life, few films are built to hold the viewer’s hand as systemically as this does. Its status as an evergreen IMDb favourite is, then, entirely natural. But if that’s all it were, I would have had no hesitation to end the review at Gatport’s inadvertently piercing critique. Arresting composition in the prison caught the eye – and made up for some iffy editing – but as usual it was the performances that kept me onside. You’d be surprised at how much you can stomach when you buy into the people on screen. Even this schmaltz buffet couldn’t subdue the twinkle in Morgan Freeman’s eye.

A-