Saturday, November 7, 2015

Forrest Gump (1994) review


     Forrest Gump falls nothing short of the classic it wants to be. With an iconic performance by Tom Hanks, a story full of history, and an inspiring message behind it all, this film lives on as one of the most popular of its time and well-deserving of its many Academy Awards.

PLOT: Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) is a simple man from Alabama with a small IQ and a big heart. Since he was little, Forrest had always dealt with problems from bullies to his scoliosis. However, things start to change for Forrest when he meets a young girl named Jenny (Robin Wright) and becomes best friends with her. Their relationship grows strong throughout history and the many events Forrest attends, but both eventually go their own ways. Forrest joins the military where he meets shrimp-enthusiast Bubba (Mykelti Williamson) and harsh Lt. Dan (Gary Sinise), whereas Jenny joins the hippie movement and travels the country freely. Throughout their time apart, each starts to realize how much they care for each other. For the rest of the film, we're guided through Forrest's life and roles in history as he goes with his intuition and realizes he eventually has to stop running. The plot is very well written and executed. All of Forrest's roles in important historical events make this feel both like lesson and a treat for history enthusiasts. Seeing how everything is connected and tied back to the meaning is simply amazing to watch.

ACTING: All of the performances in this film are perfect. Every performer acts to fit his or her character in such an accurate way. I couldn't picture anyone else playing any other character in this film, especially with Tom Hanks in his iconic role of the titular character, Forrest Gump. Tom Hanks almost acts as if he had really been Forrest his whole life. No role could have said any of his iconic lines better. Robin Wright, Mykelti Williamson, and Gary Sinise all played their roles just as excellently. Every performer in this film is fully-deserving of respect after each's consecutive roles in this film.

SCORE: The score for Forrest Gump is just as inspirational and uplifting as the overall film is. Talented composer Alan Silvestri takes the reigns in writing the background score for the film and does so in a simplistically fitting way. The soundtrack is also one of the best soundtracks in film history, with each addition fitting the decade it arose from in the film. From classics like "Hound Dog" from Elvis and "Can't Help Myself" from The Four Tops to classic rock hits like "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival and "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield, Forrest Gump's soundtrack feels much like radio station made only for the classic rock generation.

EFFECTS: There aren't many special effects to focus on in Forrest Gump aside from the Vietnam sequences. The explosions are very realistically done with an impressive "wow" factor upon first viewing. Everything done effect wise in the Vietnam sequence is amazing. They aren't the best, but they definitely succeed in the entertainment factor.

OTHER CONTENT: Forrest Gump is truly a film with both a brain and a heart behind it. Through the many inclusions of the simple-minded titular character in history, the film slyly teaches a lesson on how no matter how small someone thinks he or she is, he or she has probably made a huge impact on one's life. Prestigious director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Cast Away, Romancing the Stone) shows his skills in making the film with a clean, unique understanding of  the points he wants to get across. This is also evident from the symbolic focus on the feather, which stands for the ups and downs life can take a person through. Everything in this film, from the screenplay to the specific script is well-crafted and aimed for cogent perfection.

     Forrest Gump is an iconic, memorable film for obvious reasons. There isn't a question about why it became as popular and award-winning as it did. Perfect performances, solid direction, a great soundtrack, and a clear expression of meaning lead this film into a sort of safe zone. Almost everyone enjoys it and can relate to it, critics and the general public alike. I'm not saying people can't hate the film, but if one looks at the big picture, one can't help but to enjoy it. Forrest Gump itself is like a "box of chocolates"; when watching it, you never know what you can get out of it.

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