By Bri (Wisconsin)


Rock n’ Roll, Woodstock, and Vietnam. We’ve all heard about these incidents whether it was in our history class or from experience. Now, imagine we go back in time and relive these moments that changed our nation’s history from the 50’s to the 90’s. Can you see it? Well how about reliving it through the eyes of a man who has a below average IQ of 75.

Forrest Gump is a simple-minded man with not the brightest brain. Although being as simple as he is, Forrest finds himself floating through different historical events that doesn’t seem to affect him. Such events as the Civil Rights Movement, Ping Pong Diplomacy, John Lennon’s Assassination, Watergate Scandal, and countless other phenomenon’s of our history’s culture. With touching the many lives of the people he meets along the way; you can’t help to smile, laugh, love and even cry when meeting this remarkable man from Greenbow, Alabama.

The main character, Forrest Gump, is played by none other than the academy-winning actor Tom Hanks. Hanks stretches how elaborately versatile acting can be when given a character so straightforward and child-like. From his delivery of speech to the way he portrays himself, he makes you believe that you are actually being introduced to this extraordinarily naive man. Even when it comes to comedic or dramatic affairs in the film, Hanks delivers it to his full potential and performs it as we would expect Forrest would.

Along with an exuberant cast, Gary Sinise plays the supporting role of Forrest’s Lieutenant from Vietnam and eventually a life-long friend. His character, known as Lieutenant Dan, believes he has a certain purpose in life. But upon meeting Forrest he soon finds his own destiny has been shaken by him. From showing raw emotions of a paralyzed war vet to warm companionship of a best friend Sinise has us fooled, along with Hanks, by making us believe there are no limits when it comes to acting.

Not only was the acting beautifully displayed, but so was the cinematography and film editing. Being that this film goes through our nation’s history, there are real clips of our past moments that were once captured on film with Forrest edited in it; such events as Integration and talking to the President (JFK and Nixon). Even though it may not be completely accurate, the film editing flawlessly captured these moments with Forrest interacting within our history. And the cinematography beautifully captured some of the most breathtaking landscapes that can be found in our country.

Even more so, the editors added popular music of the specific time period into the film which added to effect of actually being there. From Elvis controversially introducing Rock n’ Roll in the 50’s to The Bee Gees grooving to disco in the 70’s, it brilliantly enhanced people’s’ reactions in the given moments.

Along with the brilliant use of music comes the superb directing done by Robert Zemeckis. At the time he had little no background of directing dramas, however he does it surprisingly well. By capturing various scenes so unforgettable and simply extravagant, he created one of the most beautiful stories ever told.

With all of these highly acclaimed features of the movie it’s no wonder that it won 6 academy awards, including best picture. It became a picture, no, a story that touched our hearts in the sweetest way. Forrest Gump may have had an IQ of a child at best, but he is nothing less than remarkable. His story is one that is highly achieved and incredibly hard to believe; almost to the point that you have to see it in order to believe it.

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