Forrest Gump is an epic romantic comedy-drama film, which was released in 1994 as a Paramount Pictures Production. It is based on a novel under the same title written by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and starred Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise and Sally Field. This movie is not only the winner of 6 Oscars including Best Actor, Best Director and Best Picture, but it was also the biggest money-making film at the box office that year.
The movie is about a simple man with little brain activity but good intentions. The film starts out well enough. A feather lightly drifts down and lands at the foot of a man. He is sitting at a bus stop, waiting for his ride. His name is Forrest Gump. He tells his life story to strangers sitting with him. As a child Forrest had braces on his legs which made him an easy target as a victim to social torture as name called and rock throwing stayed with him for years. From the first day of school, Jenny was always Forrest’s friend willing to look beyond the braces into his warm heart. Every day they walk together from school and when boys start throwing rocks at Forest, Jenny encourages him to run, she just screamed “Run, Forrest, run!” and these words helped him to change his life. His mother teaches him the ways of life and leaves him to choose his destiny. Some time ago he became a college football star.
After attending college he enlists in the Army fighting in Vietnam, where he courageously rescues many men, along with his Lieutenant, and his good friend “Bubba”. Forrest also tells how he gets rewarded medals, runs throughout the country, building hundred of followers, establishes a huge shrimp business, witnesses majority of American historical events, becomes World renown tennis Champion, and donates large amounts of money to people in need. However this is all irrelevant to Forrest who can only think of his childhood sweetheart Jenny, who has messed up her life. Although in the end all he wants to prove is that anyone can love anyone. Finally, he reconnects with Jenny to find they have a son together. She is dying from an incurable disease.
Forest marries Jenny and in short time she dies. In the end, he goes back to the moment of seeing his son of to the school bus, from the same place he started his life’s way full of surprise and adventures. Finally, he reunites with Jenny, Forrest discovers she has a young son, also named Forrest. Jenny tells Forrest she is suffering and dying from an unknown virus. They move back to Greenbow where Forrest and Jenny are married but Jenny dies soon afterward.in the end, on his son’s first day of school, Forrest sits with him at the school bus stop. As the bus picks him up and drives him away, Forrest sits on the same tree stump his mother did, watching a feather playing in the background as the camera follows it which Forrest has kept out of sight.
Director Robert Zemeckis handles this film perfectly. Long stretches of dramatic scenes are infused with clever and witty humor. Ken Ralston and his team were responsible for the film’s visual effects. Using CGI techniques, it was possible to depict Gump meeting deceased personages and shaking their hands. To record the voices of the historical figures, voice doubles were hired and special effects were used to alter the mouth movements for the new dialogue. Also Lieutenant Gary’s legs were digitally removed in the second part of “Forrest Gump” with the help of specially designed props and special-effects magic. The music in this movie is incredible. It’s like hearing the sixties. It is the magical movie.
The film has several ideas, some of which are less obvious than others. To my mind, the central idea is that everyone has a destiny with a random journey leading to it. Explained through the techniques of motif, symbolism, and characterization, director demonstrates how everyone has a destiny, but the journey to it is undefined. Throughout the film, the motifs of a feather and birds are used to promote the central idea. The feather seen both at the beginning and the end of the film has a clear purpose. The feather simply floats about on the breeze, no direct route and no known destination. This feather represents the journey to destiny, free and random. Similarly, birds also ride upon the wind, but do so with more choice. They are still free and, though it may seem less so, just as random. Whatever choices are made, they lead ever on towards destiny.
In my opinion, this movie is nothing short of a masterpiece. Brilliant cinematography, great acting, and a wonderful story that ties together two decades are some of the reasons that this movie soared. But the real appeal is in the title character, brilliantly portrayed by Tom Hanks. I liked this film very much.