Study Guide

The Shawshank Redemption What's Up With the Ending?

What's Up With the Ending?

Did they have to wind up in a town as difficult to spell—and pronounce—as Zihuatanejo? Seriously…it took us like fifteen seconds to type that, just to make sure we didn't make any mistakes.

In a word…yeah. It had to be something foreign and exotic-sounding, so it would seem like something so distant and unattainable that to even dream of getting there would come off as foolhardy and stubborn. And so that when it was attained, our minds were blown more than if it had simply been called something like "Boat City." (Side note: Thank goodness we're not in charge of naming cities.)

Having Andy make it out wouldn't have been enough. How depressing would it have been if Red had died inside Shawshank instead of meeting up with his friend in Mexico? Plenty of dramas wouldn't have thought twice about taking it in that direction, but this movie was different. It wasn't about making everyone in the theater fill their popcorn buckets with tears. It was about redemption. For both of the characters we'd grown to know and love.

For that reason, we needed to see the resolution of the Red-Andy bromance, and it needed to be in a place like Zihuatanejo.

Did we put an extra "a" in it that time? We feel like maybe we did.

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