Some films are instantly recognisable from the utterance of one little phrase or quote from said picture. It is hard to imagine many people being dumbfounded if you said “life is like a box of chocolates” to them; everyone is familiar with this iconic quote from cinematic history. Equally, Tom Hanks’ performance as the titular character in ‘Forrest Gump’ is one which people still hold in the highest esteem more than two decades on. Inspiring, uplifting, entertaining, poignant, the long list of superlatives used in conjunction with any discussion of this film is endless. Add to that list “award-winning” and you have a good idea of exactly how popular ‘Forrest Gump’ is.
This is a story about a man named, you guessed it, Forrest Gump, who has a slight mental impairment. Despite this apparent disadvantage, he makes his way through life and consistently finds himself present at critical world events from the 50s through the 80s. Forrest (Tom Hanks) lives a fascinating and inspiring life, but his one true love and lifetime friend, Jenny (Robin Wright), is experiencing the world in a very different way. Along his travels around the USA, Forrest lives in the hope that he and Jenny will unite at the same place and time and finally be together.
I can’t think of a lot to hate about this movie. I thoroughly enjoy the whole experience from start to finish. I suppose the humour is really dry for some, and while others may consider the whole idea of one man being present at so many historical moments to be ludicrous, I personally find it entertaining. This is not a documentary, but a fictional drama in the form of a movie. You roll with it just as you would a work of fiction, and hopefully, you enjoy the ride.
The movie has an array of excellent characters from Lieutenant Dan (Gary Sinise) and Bubba, Jenny, and of course Forrest himself. I think the whole cast is solid and the direction and overall production of the film is exquisite. Tom Hanks, as the protagonist, portrays this eccentric, yet kind-hearted man convincingly, in a performance which can become a bit jaded at times, but still remains very much human and genuine. Seeing American history come alive is very cool, showcasing America at its best, and ultimately its worse. The movie is funny and has some powerful moments. It never drifts too far into the dark or too close to the light, but settles in the middle for pure entertainment.
I really enjoy this film. It seems the older I get, the more I actually like it. I suppose if you can’t get over the fact that it’s unrealistic, then this movie is not your cup of tea. However, if you want a film that is a well-acted drama, covering several decades of American history, this is your movie. I would definitely recommend ‘Forrest Gump’ to anyone who’d listen.#
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise