Everything is spelled out in this film and Darabont does not allow its audience to think for themselves or arrive at their own conclusions.
I'm a little confused by this criticism, Edwin. This seems to be a huge point of criticism for a lot of movies (a la Dark City). For the purposes of just this thread alone, are there moments in Shawshank that you could name where it would've been better left, in the simplest terms, a mystery to the audience?
"I don't know, Marge. Trying is the first step towards failure." - Homer J. Simpson
My DVD Collection
But it was said that one of the proposed endings for this movie was the scene where Red is shown riding on a bus towards Mexico with Freeman’s voiceover, “I hope…”
That is my one complaint about this movie: it should have ended at that scene. It would have been the PERFECT ending, because the whole movie is about hope. As it was, everything was tied up too neatly, and we were left not with hope, but with definitive knowledge. Knowledge is not what this movie was about, and I wish it hadn't ended the way it did.
Great movie otherwise though, but the IMDB rating is way off.