As one among a million people who desperately gravitate towards The Shawshank Redemption in times of crises, either personal or universal, the need for another film like that has never been more. I exhausted my quota of essential viewing of the film within the first two days of the lockdown and I need at least a few more months for that right amount of forgetfulness to set in to be able to watch it again.
Prison break films, even as a genre, provide that good thing, maybe the best of things, we call ‘hope’. Escape From Alcatraz, available on Netflix, is perhaps the film that comes closest to the hope Shawshank Redemption gives us. But unlike Frank Darabont’s classic, this Clint Eastwood film (directed by Don Siegel) is built like a thriller that keeps you on the edge of the seat until it’s done, as it traces the story of a man’s desperate efforts to escape the most heavily guarded prison complex in the world.
Given that it’s all but likely that the lockdown is going to get extended, we’re all in need of motivational films that show us the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not really the big sweeping statements or reassurances that are doing the trick anymore. It’s the smaller things, like a tiny step at a time, that’s working better. Having watched Escape From Alcatraz, you realise that it’s not about the swords or the shovels — a humble spoon might come in handy too!