Movie in life is meant to move and inspire the human mind in order to create a life-long impact on society and the world. And, different movies have their own genres and philosophies of existence. Some movies are not just movies as a means of entertainment but for the introduction and mirror of facts and realities of multi-faceted dimensions of our life. They make us laugh and cry. Even further, it goes on to make us learn and grow. And, finally, time is far off when they make us live through it. Thus, it is not often that one comes across such movies. Believe it or not, it is seldom that such movies are made that leave us absolutely bowled over with the theme of the story and the performances of the characters. Sometimes, it is the animation and sound effects, sometimes the story, and sometimes the projection of characterization. Many such movies have been screened that leave a lasting effect on the minds of the audience. But, one of such movies is none other than “Forrest Gump.”
It is based on a novel by the same name written by author Winston Groom. This is an American romantic movie with a pinch of humor. It was released in 1994, and was an instant hit with top-class actors like Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Robin Wright and Sally Field who played lead roles in the movie.
In this movie, Forrest Gump played by Tom Hanks is the leading character. The movie starts with young Forrest Gump seated at the bus-stop when a feather lands beside him. While waiting for the bus to arrive, he starts to tell the story of his life to people seated next to him who are total strangers. Hence begins the story of Forrest Gump, a boy with a low IQ level who lives with his mother in Alabama. From a young age, Forrest has had to wear leg braces, has been bullied by other kids of his age, never had real friends. He had one and only one friend, Jenny Curran, whom Forrest meets on his first day in the school bus and instantly falls in love with her. While in school, Forrest’s mother Sally was called upon by the principal of the school for his poor academic performance. It was informed to his mother that since her son had a low IQ level, he should seek admission in a special school. It was at that point of time that Forrest started receiving lessons from his mother that changed his life. In this course of home teaching, his mother teaches the real lessons in life that one learns only at home with parents. She tells him that he is perfectly capable of living a normal life like other children. He is further inculcated that he should always find ways to overcome hurdles strewn in life’s paths and nothing can stop him to try and achieve success in everything he does. These motivating words and thoughts turn out to be great piece of advice in Forrest’s life. So, when Forrest grows older and discovers his interests in various things, he learns that despite his low IQ, he can run really fast. During the early years of his life, Forrest meets with numerous high profile historical, political and social figures like Richard Nixon, John Lennon, Lyndon Johnson, Dick Cavett, etc. And, after his graduation, he joins the US army, and along with his new-found friend, Benjamin, gets an opportunity to serve in Vietnam. During his stupendous career in army, he wins various awards and medals. Once he is back to Washington, he meets Jenny whom he proposes to marry but she refuses his proposal and goes away with her boyfriend. During the second half of the movie, Forrest finds his interest in ping-pong and plays for the US army. He purchases a shrimping boat with the money from the game toward the fulfillment of his promise to Benjamin who dies in the war after sustaining a chest wound. He names his boat Jenny after the name of the love of his life. When their region gets hit by Carmen hurricane, no other boats survive but Forrest’s shrimping boat and with no more competition, Forrest’s shrimp company becomes an unparalleled success. Soon after this, Forrest’s mother falls sick and he leaves his company with another friend Lt. Taylor whom he had met in the army and returns home to look after his mother who dies afterwards. All this while, Forrest grieves for Jenny’s company. Soon after his mother’s death, Jenny and Forrest meet again but as fate goes with him, she leaves him one morning after making love to him. This devastates Forrest and he decides to pursue running. Through 1976-1979, he runs three marathons which turn Forrest into a celebrity with endless fan following him. With the passage of time, one day Jenny and he meet again when she tells him about their son Jr. Forrest. He also learns about Jenny’s ailment and when she proposes to him, he accepts and they get married. Jenny dies later in the movie which leaves Forrest depressed with life but he decides to live for his son. And the movie ends the way it had started with Forrest sitting on the same bench after his son boards the school bus on his first day at school.
I quite simply love this movie and it is way better than the novel that it has been adapted from. It is one of those rare movies that make a way straight into your heart with the astonishing turn of events both heart-wrenching and exciting at the same time. You fall in love with Forrest right since the start of the movie. That is because the character is so well developed and appeals to every little emotion in one’s heart with the kind of unadulterated innocence he projects. There are a lot of instances from the movie that are etched in my memory but there is one particular still that I love like no other. It is at the start of the movie when Forrest is still a kid and he gets onto the bus for school. He doesn’t really have any friends and no one would let him sit next to them. This one instance touches your heart so deeply that you don’t even know that your eyes are full with tears. You can actually feel the misery Forrest feels. At that time, a little girl tells him that he can sit next to her and Forrest likes her instantly. They become best friends and it is not long before Forrest realizes that she is the girl he wants to marry. This girl is Jenny whom Forrest ultimately marries. Jenny is a sweet little girl that one cannot stop but love. She is a constant driving force in Forrest’s life, and inspires him to do things exactly how normal kids would do. Once when kids pelt stones at Forrest calling him stupid, she says, Run, Forrest! Run! And Forrest runs faster than he believes he could, breaking off his leg-braces. I really love her character, although there is a lot in life that she has gone through. But she is still courageous enough to face life and keep moving ahead. The third best character is Forrest’s mother, Sally Gump who raises her son after her husband abandons them. She loves her son unconditionally and makes him see the world through her eyes. When Forrest is rejected from school, Sally believes that there is nothing wrong with her son’s abilities and motivates him to accept life’s challenges just like anyone else would. She advices him, ‘Stupid is as the stupid does’ and this one line from his mother acts as a great inspiring power in life for Forrest. The dialogues are not just entertaining but touching and filled with great meaning if one sees. One of them is as Forrest’s mother Sally makes him believe that life is a box of chocolates and you never know what you are going to get. So, this implies that life is full of surprises and one has good reasons to expect the unexpected from it. The characters are so well-played that they are just unforgettable and make you want to believe that they are not just fictional characters in movies.My AnalysisI personally found this movie very inspiring with the message that it carries for audience from all categories. All through the movie you see the world through Forrest’s eyes. You start to believe that there is a strong positive plan greater than you think behind everything that happens in life. In the movie, Forrest meets interesting people and celebrities and it doesn’t even seem odd since the acting of each and every character is so real that it is more than just the stupid man being at the right place at the right time. It is easily believable and adds a pinch of extra taste to the story. The love-story so well-acted by Hanks is one of its kind and nearly always missing in movies these days. Forrest’s love for Jenny is elusive and even though Jenny leaves him twice, he still loves her and hopes that one day they shall be man and wife which is exactly what happens. Even though there are turn of events that one so hopes and sees them happen, the suspense is well depicted which makes the movie unpredictable and hence remarkably outstanding and a memorable one. It is an incredibly sentimental movie with tear-jerking effects that has touched millions of hearts and more. It is an extremely captivating tale of innocence, love, optimism, hopes that you live through Forrest’s eyes.
If you have known Tom Hanks to be brilliant with Philadelphia, Cast Away, The Da Vinci Code, with Forrest Gump; he is extraordinary and has walked the extra mile to make the movie as real as it is. He is not only the Alabama Football Team star, the US Army hero, a world-class Ping Pong champ, a wrestler, a marathon celebrity, a successful businessman, a millionaire but he is my best stupid naïve adorable Forrest Gump. You don’t see flaws but just brilliancy in the acting of this superstar as Forrest Gump which makes it my all time favorite movie.
Awards and Recognitions
If you had seen the movie, you would quite agree with me that it was not surprising to count the number of awards Forrest Gump has won. It is the only movie of its time that won 6 Academy Awards for the Best Movie including Best Film Editing, Best Direction, Best Visual Effects, Best Screen Play, Best Cinematography etc. Tom Hanks won the Academy Award for the Best Actor for his role as Forrest Gump. This movie also won numerous other awards like Saturn Awards, Amanda Awards, Bafta Awards, Golden Globe Awards, MTV Movie Awards, and People’s Choice Awards etc.
My personal suggestion would be that audience of any gender, age and maturity levels must watch this movie at least once in their lifetimes. Your heart deserves to be captivated by the innocence of the little boy called Forrest Gump with a low IQ level who has the will and optimism to face life’s challenges and emerge a winner. I am sure that this inspiring movie will bring about a change in the perception and conception of leading a happy and healthy life.
1. Gump, Forrest. IMBd: Movie - Forrest Gump." 6 Jul 1994. Web. 1 Apr. 2013.
2. Maslin, Janet. The New York Times. Movies - Forest Grump." 16 Jan 1994.Web. 1 Apr. 2013.