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Comic: Seventeen Words For Snow

No Redemption

Spoiler Alert: If you haven't seen "The Shawshank Redemption," don't read the following paragraphs, and crawl out of the hole you've been living in since the mid-90's.

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In the fifteen years since it was released to little fanfare, became a beloved mainstay on cable TV, and entered the American consciousness, I've had a complex, changing relationship with "The Shawshank Redemption." I've never known exactly how to feel about the film, which vacillates between being one of my favorites to one toward which I'm fairly indifferent. As a simple story of eternal hope, the film is difficult to top. As a portrait of prison life, it's fascinating, if built on cliché. As a character study, it's moving, if also sometimes clichéd. As cinema, it's maybe a bit too polished, with its overblown mood, huge plot twist and happy ending. As a literary adaptation, the movie far outdoes its source material; the less said about Stephen King's original novella –which suffers from lousy, anticlimactic pacing – the better.

With all my muddled thoughts about it, "TSR" is a film that I wish I could entirely forget, and then watch again for the first time. If I think waaaaaaaaaaaay back to my initial viewing, it's possible to remember a time when I was actually shocked that Andy Dufresne escaped from Shawshank. I originally thought he'd obtained a length of rope so that he could hang himself in his cell, after being broken by Warden Norton. As a movie watcher, I was what you'd call NAIVE. But that naïveté (and teenage cynicism) made the film oh so enjoyable that first time. This leads me to wonder: why do I, and millions of other repeat viewers, still enjoy watching the movie, now that I know what's going to happen? It's not like I've regularly returned to "Memento" or "The Sixth Sense," which also depend on surprise plot twists to derive their enjoyability. So what is it about "TSR" that provides such lasting engagement for its viewers?

These questions, of course, are not addressed in my comic. I guess what I'm really wondering is what happened to Andy's prison cell after he vacated it. Was his "one-bunk Hilton" retired forever after? It seems an awful waste of space

Seventeen Words For Snow is a single-panel comic written and illustrated by Dave Low. Here are a few additional words he’d like to include in this space for the purpose of drumming up hits in Google Search: cartoon, drawing, humor, The Shawshank Redemption, and Zaganos Pasha.

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prison, seventeen words for snow,

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