It’s funny, sometimes when you see many scenes of a movie without watching it all the way through, you kind of understand what the film is about. Even if you didn’t see the beginning or some of the ending, you can piece together the main arc of the motion picture. And then sometimes, you have no idea. “Forrest Gump” is one of those movies you have to watch from start to finish.
Forrest is a kind-hearted, courageous man who, for better or worse, is mentally challenged. But instead of living a sheltered or fearful life, Forrest lives the most inspirational and exotic one you could ever imagine. And throughout this time, we see many historic events including some he actually takes a part in…though not in reality. The one thing Forrest can always do is run and he does that throughout.
Whether it’s returning kicks like Kenyan Drake for Alabama or escaping an ambush in Vietnam, are protagonist always seems to be moving but never gets too stuck on what’s going on. Even if he is receiving the Medal of Honor, Forrest just keeps on living. And when people make fun of him or call him stupid, he doesn’t take notice. Instead he continues to live an unbelievable life where he meets no less than 3 presidents.
But there are a few constants in his life with the main one being his love Jenny. While starting off as his best friend, they both live totally separate lives with Jenny continually self-destructing while Forrest obliviously goes through the greatest life ever. And although they meet up from time to time, it seems as if she is always pushing him away even when he fights for her. But they always find each other after every incredible feat Forrest achieves.
So much of this movie is impressive including the cinematography with historical events and also special effects including a character that doesn’t have legs. Considering this film is from 1994, anything that looks that realistic is worth noting. But the acting takes it over the top. Of course Tom Hanks earns his Oscar as Forrest by keeping it simple. Sure he is mentally challenged but it is not forced and his sweet-hearted as well as simpleton nature makes him possibly the most likeable character ever. Couple that with strong performances from Robin Wright plus Gary Sinise and you have a pretty stellar ensemble.
What makes “Forrest Gump” so special is the way this likeable character stays true to himself while living the ultimate life. He competes on the Olympic Ping Pong Team as well as runs across the country all while showcasing America’s history in the late twentieth century. And his own narration of the film adds to the impact especially the humor where his description completely imitates what is happening on the screen. It’s a movie that you can’t keep your eyes off of and will never forget. While one could poke holes at how unrealistic it can be, nothing lessens the impact of this tremendous film.