Forrest Gump is a movie whose title is named after its main character, Forrest Gump. The main character is not a fast-witted fellow, who kills time in waiting for the bus by sharing the story of his life to anyone who sits with him on a bench in the bus stop. He always remembers the time when he met Elvis Presley, and also when his dear mother died. He shares stories about going to college and how he dealt with his new life in that new environment, and proudly tells strangers about how a scholarship grant has helped him enter college.
He recalls stories about him entering the army. As a member of the army, he was sent to Vietnam. From this experience, he returned to his country of origin as a hero because in Vietnam, he was able to save his friends in the army. Since he was able to make himself a hero, he shares to strangers how many presidents of different countries he has already met. He also recalls how he got wealthy by setting up a business. He looks back to the days when he was very engrossed into professional ping-pong.
He is telling people who sits beside him on the bench about his popularity which he got from running to and from one country to another, for three consecutive years (McCarthy, 1994). All these stories which Forrest Gump keeps on sharing to strangers seem different from each other. However, when one takes a better and closer look at it, the sum of Forrest Gump’s stories revolves around Jenny. Jenny is the one true love of Forrest. He falls in love with this girl so deeply that he never notices other girls. He thinks about her every now and then.
He is too enamoured with too many thoughts about Jenny. Because Forrest Gump’s life is not perfect, he loses Jenny along the way. Everything that Forrest does from that time on was towards finding Jenny. With much perseverance, and also even luck, he was able to find Jenny once again. They reconnect with each other. With this reunion, Forrest finds out that he and Jenny have a son together. Jenny, however, was almost dying all through the years. He is suffering from a disease which has no treatment or medication.
Then again, even after knowing this, Forrest still decides to marry Jenny. After a very short period of time, Jenny dies from the incurable disease. What Forrest did was to raise their son even when Jenny was no longer around. He became a father to his son on his own (McCarthy, 1994). Forrest Gump, in this story, is a very good representation of the genre “innocent at large”. His snippets of wisdom are very sensible although they are very simple. He is also slow-witted. The way he looks portrays innocence because he is donning a buzz-cut hairstyle.
The world around Forrest Gump is undeniably a stressful and a hectic one, but even if he is living in this kind of world, he is still able to look at the world in a good way. He still thinks that the world is a nice place to live in. While Forrest looks very innocent, viewers will still understand and see that he is not completely innocent, and that he also knows things. It simply goes to show that Forrest defies the stereotype of a hero. Heroes are expected to be man enough, to be smart, fit and almost perfect. Forrest still managed to be a hero despite all his imperfections.
Jenny, on the other hand, was the opposite of Forrest. While she knew a lot about the world and was rich with experiences, she is constantly confused. She hooks up with boys she barely knows; she does drugs, and battles thoughts and attempts of suicide. She only decides to settle down with Forrest when she was almost dying, and this time, she sounded and acted more matured. Again, she defies the stereotype of smart people making smart decisions, since Jenny, being knowledgeable, being the women who taught Forrest how to read and write, is the same woman who always creates poor decisions (McCarthy, 1994).
As a reader, it is easy to relate with Forrest Gump because there are times when wishes and dreams are achieved even without the conventional way of reaching it. It can be related to the many times people do not believe in what I can do or what opinions I am capable of making. It can also be as simple as doing everything in my power to buy my dream pair of shoes, or the book I have been meaning to read for the longest time, and even when getting them seems impossible, I end up having them land on my hands.
The movie discussed many things about family, marriage and society. Throughout the entire film, we can see that Forrest’s mother is very supportive of him. She supported him even though a lot of people think that he has no future with his IQ that is below average. She pushed him to do normal things despite what other people say. She even went as far as to entertain the indecent wishes of the school principal just so Forrest can enter school. In all these examples, the role of the mother as a family member who supports other members is clearly shown.
The film also explored the family theme in Lieutenant Dan’s determination to follow in the footsteps of his ancestors who died in battle. Lieutenant Dan’s only wish is to be killed in action and nothing else. This reflects the tendency of members of a family to follow the choices in life of fellow members. However, Lieutenant Dan failed to follow the footsteps of his ancestors because he was saved by Forrest. Marriage is discussed in the movie in the scene where Forrest proposes to marry Jenny. Forrest made it clear that she loved Jenny despite the fact that he is “not a smart man.
” Upon learning that he has a child that also has his name, Forrest also gladly assumed the role of a father even though his intelligence is below average. In addition, Forrest and Jenny got married even if Jenny is already dying. These events show that marriage should be founded on the responsibility of each member and their love for each other (McCarthy, 1994). Society was also discussed in the film because it was shown that Forrest had to go through many challenges as he tried to accomplish things that normal people accomplish.
His classmates didn’t like him in the school bus and he was always bullied in school. His classmates even chased him with their pickup truck. Forrest was able to break through the challenges that society presented though through his talents and skills. Since he can run very fast, Forrest was able to go through college with a scholarship for playing football. His talent in ping-pong also allowed him to go to China and play with their leader. In the military, his fast rifle assembly skills made him look good in the eyes of his commander.
While these instances are exaggerated, they do make it clear that it is possible to be accepted by society if you willingly share your talents and skills to other people. Critics absolutely love Forrest Gump. It sparked intense debate among critics about whether the film was promoting conservative or liberal values. Roger Ebert praised Eric Roth’s screenplay and Tom Hanks’ acting. Some critics though, did not like film. Entertainment Weekly and The New Yorker said that the film reminds them of Disney because the film tends to reduce history to a colorful theme park.
Currently though, the film is considered a classic among many film critics. Forrest Gump is also rated very high in various movie review websites (McCarthy, 1994). I love the film because it is very touching and deep but is still interesting and funny. Forrest Gump is very inspirational because he achieved so many things in life despite the fact that he has a very low IQ. It’s not only Forrest though who made his victories and successes possible but also the people around him: his mother, Bubba, Lieutenant Dan, and even Jenny.
This shows that society also works to help us achieve our goals no matter what our skills are. I also like the film because it went through a long part of the United States’ history but it presented it in a comedic and sarcastic way. Since Forrest does not know the real depth of the issues that surrounds him, history looks less serious people would normally think. The film gives the impression that everything that has happened to the world, including the Vietnam War, can be viewed as ridiculous and probably unnecessary. Bubba died needlessly in battle just because he had to serve in the war.
His dreams ended just like that and Forrest was willing to accept the death of his friend. Forrest Gump is a great movie that everyone must watch. If you want to dig deep into the emotions of people and the issues of society, this is an excellent film to watch. Truly, Forrest Gump is a classic that entertains and educates its viewers. Reference McCarthy, T. (July 11, 1994). Forrest Gump. Variety Online Magazine. Retrieved 18 December 2008 http://www. variety. com/index. asp? layout=Variety100&reviewid=VE1117487968&content=jump&jump=review&category=1935&cs=1&p=0.
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