#3: Forrest Gump (1994)

#3: Forrest Gump (1994)

Ranked as one the most timeless films, Forrest Gump has won 6 Academy Awards for Best Picture in 1994 and was chosen in 2011 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. This 20th century film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and released in 1994. The film is categorized as a romance and a comedy, even though there are a lot of references to major American politic movements during the 20th century.

While everyone has heard of the phrase love is blind, Forrest Gump is the perfect epitome of said phrase. The movie is filled with brilliant actors who execute their roles earnestly. Tom Hanks is the lead that plays as the 75 below average IQ, Forrest Gump. Nevertheless even a simpleton can fall in love, and so Forrest falls for Jenny (played by Robin Wright). Simultaneously Forrest’s life passes through significant events in the 20th century. For instance giving inspiration to Elvis before his fame, meeting multiple presidents from Kennedy to Nixon, as well as joining the army during the Vietnam War, and even investing in Apple. Yet despite having such an accomplished life, Forrest cannot help but focus on Jenny.

One of the main themes of Forrest Jump is, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Simply put, despite being born with a low IQ Forrest listens to his mother’s advice, “to do the best with what God gave you.” And through his willpower manages to land a spot on the football team, meet the president, join the army, meet the president again, become a table tennis champion, and meet the president once more. Did I mention he becomes a millionaire?

Forrest was named after a Confederate general in the Civil War who was also the first Grand Wizard of the KKK., this is as aforementioned one of the prime examples of American politics incorporated into the storyline. The film is quite accurate adding little Easter eggs, particularly when Forrest called in to report the Watergate burglary.  The security guard who answered Forrest was Frank Wills, the guard who was on duty the night of the real scandal.

The film had notable cinematography in comparison to its time, namely when Forrest was included in the vintage footages smoothly and when Lieutenant Dan Taylor loses his legs. It was interesting how the directors and producers added Forrest to real TV clips of John Lennon and Dick Cavett. The soundtrack as well corresponded smoothly with each scene, specifically when Love Her Madly played as Jenny left her boyfriend and when Jenny tries to commit suicide Freebird plays.

The dialogue and characterization helped solidify the characters. The script was very well written, as even the conversation the doctor has with Forrest’s mother in the beginning brought out a sense of comical aspect, when the doctor states,” His back is crooked like a politician.” Furthermore Forrest’s simple narration sometimes made the audience wonder if he was being sarcastic or simply idiotic. For instance when he describes the war in Vietnam, “ We was always taking long walks, and we was always looking for a guy named Charlie.” But it’s also Forrest’s simplicity that makes him distinct, particularly when he notifies the security at the Watergate hotel to check out the office since the flashlight from the windows were keeping him awake. Forrest has such a humble and plain nature that makes him a winsome character, namely when he promises to join Bubba in starting a shrimp boat and carries on that promise even after Bubba’s death.

Note: After Forrest has surgery from getting shot in the buttocks during the Vietnam War.

In addition the writers have managed to capture Jenny sensibly, she is shown as that beautiful wrecked girl who is the contrast of naïve Forrest. Jenny lives her life dangerously. She starts off as a country gal that begins hitchhiking with strangers across the country then turns into a hippie who gets addicted to drugs.

In short, Forrest Gump is a romantic-comedy that literally takes a trip through history. Audience will travel through the notable moments during twentieth century in America. It is a steady paced movie that will have many laughing with Forrest’s comical way of narrating. While the film is rated PG-13 there are some drug content, sensuality, and violence displayed. This two hour movie is great for a good laugh and a rainy day.

What do you rate this film?