Essential plot rundown: An innocent man is convicted of murder and copes with life in prison. I have a feeling I missed something as I watched this because I didn't think it was anything special. I was expecting something more.
The thing that bugged me the most was the plot. (Or character development. I'm not sure which category it falls under). Tim Robbins character (Andy) goes to prison. Then he does taxes. Then he runs the library. Then he teaches a guy to read good. Then he escapes. I never felt like there was any forward progression in movie. I didn't feel that Andy's character evolved at all. He seemed to be the same character when he left as he was when he came in. I couldn't see any growth. I also never thought that there was anything at stake. There were no real scenes of tension; nothing for me to anticipate. I guess that there was that one character who knew the real murderer; but nothing came of it. Maybe knowing that Andy would escape at the end kind of ruined it for me(?) I never felt invested in what was going on. Sure, I felt bad when people got beat up or whatever. But it happened right from the get-go and so often that I guess I just kind of accepted it; it became normal.
I don't know what I'm trying to say exactly. Basically, it never engaged me: dramatically, visually, or emotionally. So, overall, it's not a bad film. But I do not see what all the hype. If I failed to see the real meaning of the film, please, let me know.
But that's just my opinion...