Breaking Down Forrest Gump – A Journey Of Life, Love And Death

December 31, 2023

Film: Forrest Gump
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Running Time: 142 Minutes
Release Date: June 23, 1994
Maturity Rating: 13+

About the Director 

Robert Zemeckis, known for his diverse range of films, often incorporates innovative visual effects and storytelling techniques in his directorial style. Zemeckis also has a penchant for engaging narratives, often combining drama, humor, and adventure in his films. Overall, his body of work reflects a versatile and imaginative approach to filmmaking.

Forrest Gump Review

Introduction: 

Movies that make you laugh, cry, ponder, and excite at the same time? Forrest Gump falls in that list. It’s a heartwarming film combining drama, comedy and love. It is an inspiring story that celebrates the power of love, friendship, and perseverance, reminding us that even the most straightforward person can make a difference in the world. 

Based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom, This film is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna getas it provides plenty of unexpected pleasures, sometimes sweet and sometimes bitter.

However, this isn’t a film that gives the viewer a specific emotion. After watching the movie, I felt like a person who experienced several emotions simultaneously. 

Everything, from the storyline and cinematography to the narration and character portrayal, is precise. I have found this movie the most challenging to review as it has so much depth.

The most unique attribute of this movie is that it reflects life in such a distinctive manner. I am not exaggerating when I say this movie accurately and realistically depicts ambition and perseverance. Every scene is flawless and makes you feel like the protagonist.

Starring Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump), Robin Wright (Jenny Curran), Gary Sinise (Lt Dan), Mykelti Williamson (Bubba), and Sally Field (Mrs Gump), the 142-minute runtime of this cinematic masterpiece is a rollercoaster of emotions.

Setting/Theme

The movie follows not only the story of a man named Forrest Gump but also the story of America from the 1950s to the 90’s. It mirrors the state of the nation by portraying its protagonist through crucial historical events, reflecting the nation’s ups and downs

At its core, Forrest Gump is a love story filled with hurdles. Love is a pivotal theme in the film. The relationships Forrest builds with the people he cares about serve as a constant support for him through life’s ups and downs.

Forrest and Jenny as Kids

Death also plays a central role in the film. It’s a repetitive theme that depicts the fragility and uncertainty of life. Losing his loved ones shapes Forrest’s understanding of morality as he gradually learns to get over the sorrows of life.

The film delves into the concept of fate versus free will while also showcasing the tenacity and purity of the human spirit under unsafe circumstances.

Narration – The Core Of The Movie

The narration plays an immense role in the film structure. Robert Zemeckis said he wanted the narration to soundlike Forrest was talking to you over a cup of coffee.” 

Nevertheless, this method fosters an intimate connection between Forrest and the audience, enabling us to establish a personal bond with his character. 

Every delayed or confused mannerism is spot-on, his Southern accent is flawless, and his every emotion is perfect. The story is told from Forrest’s perspective, and his unique voice and worldview are evident in every word. 

Forrest narrating his life in Forrest Gump
He speaks kindly and optimistically, even when recounting difficult experiences. His narration is humorous, and he often finds the funny side of even the most severe situations. It also plays a crucial role in emphasizing the contrast between Forrest’s simplicity and the complexity of the world around him.

Character Portrayal

Tom Hanks delivers such a convincing and phenomenal performance as Forrest. He makes a character so likable and full of energy, which could have easily been boring. He adapted his acting with versatility to reflect the changing times and circumstances faced by Forrest.

Forrest is not gifted in intelligence, and he is aware of that. But like all other human beings, he has feelings too. He is sentimental but in the proper sense. We witness this when he says, I’m not a smart man. But I know what love is.

Firstly, Forrest is a character who inspires us to be our best selves, even in the face of adversity. Forrest maintains a kind and optimistic outlook on life. He encounters many mean people who are rude to him because of his perceived low intelligence, but he doesn’t seem to be bothered by it.

The most exciting aspect of his personality is his simplicity. Throughout his journey, Forrest remains true to himself. Even in the worst surroundings, Forrest always seems to have a composed demeanor. He barely overthinks, and this quality takes him places.

He speaks straightforwardly with pure intentions. His honesty is evident in his interactions with others as he tries to navigate through the complexities of life. His loyalty is also unmatched as he stands with his loved ones facing hardships and difficulties. When it comes to keeping promises, his word is his bond.

Plot 

If I could describe the movie in three words, they would be “Run Forrest, Run.” The film, being half fact and half fiction, ends and begins with the symbolism of a feather. Forrest’s story makes you wonder, can all this happen in just one short life? 

Brief Insight On A Vast Life Journey:

Being born with a low IQ as a kid and having a disability in the legs, Forrest has to go through numerous hardships in his childhood. One particular day, as he runs to escape from the bullies chasing him, the braces in his legs fall apart, and he feels airborne as he runs.

Jenny Curran, Forrest’s schoolmate, best friend, and life partner is the most prominent figure in his life. Facing a harrowing and traumatic childhood impacted her emotional being. She is portrayed as a free-spirited woman, manifesting different ventures while battling her way through her crooked world. Her relationship with Forrest is both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.

Forrest and Jenny In Forrest Gump
Forrest was always happy when she was with him and only wished good for her wherever she went. In his words, they were like peas and carrots. He never asked her why she left him again and again or why she came back. He was always euphoric the moment she was with him. Despite their different paths, Forrest’s love for Jenny was unwavering.

Growing up, Forrest joins the US Army and fights in the Vietnam War. When he comes back, he starts a shrimp business, keeping a promise to his friend. Later, he embarks on a world tour by running, and this acts as a coping mechanism to deal with the pain he suffers from.

Through a series of coincidental occurrences, he becomes a part of critical historical events. His unintentional influence provides a unique glimpse into these events, demonstrating the film’s theme of destiny and life.

Forrest Gump, a national hero

While serving in the Vietnam War, his exceptional ping-pong skills were also discovered. Gradually, he became a national sensation and a champion. But when playing with his beloved son, he couldn’t concentrate on the ball as he stared at his son’s face with love, seeing a reflection of his younger self.

Message

From my point of view, the biggest takeaway from the movie is never to lose hope in life. Forrest is a character who was rejected by society in his childhood itself. But he kept going with perseverance and determination. This relentless dedication enabled him to achieve extraordinary feats. 

Although obstacles are an inevitable part of life, they are necessary for us to evolve. All the hardships Forrest faced not only evolved him into a better person but also influenced his unique outlook on life.

Summary

In conclusion, this film beautifully portrays life during the present scenario. It perfectly fits in today’s world and is applicable to inspire the next generations. The story revolves around two ideas: that life is a destiny and life is a chance, but it concludes with life being a bit of both. Watch the film, as it might change your perspective on life.

Rating: 9.5/10

Pros:

  • Emotional Depth
  • Cultural Impact 
  • Timeless Themes

Cons

  • Over-Simplifying Historical Events
  • Some viewers may find the movie slow-paced

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