By Peter Ede (Bexhill-On-Sea)
There’s only one thing I can say about Forrest Gump, directed by Robert Zemeckis, and that is that it’s a true masterpiece. This film is emotionally gripping through its narrative that slots itself between memorable moments of history over the years. This film is my all-time favourite when it comes to analysing films due to the amount of material there is throughout the storyline. Its construction is clever and ingenious to the audience as they’ve captured the different moments very well along with an orchestral soundtrack that can take your breath away, especially in the sad scenes. In this film, it shows a less developed character, Forrest Gump growing up over the years and the life he lives, along with romantic interests, once in a lifetime opportunities and seeing life as “a box of chocolates.”
Throughout the story, it gets clearer and clearer to the audience that all the different situations that Forrest gets into are actually accidental or are part of the “right place right time” aspect. An example is him running away from the school bullies and running across a football field, followed by him getting picked for the American Football Team due to his phenomenal speed. That’s what I thought made the film, these different scenes. It’s very colloquial with Forrest as the narrator for the majority of the parts, but showing him living his life again so that the audience can see it for themselves. The way the plot weaves in and out of history is done exceptionally well with famous characters such as The President, John Lennon and Elvis Presley along with historic moments such as the President’s assassination but with Forrest’s twist on the story which is in this case, him not understanding it properly like we would. “For some strange reason, somebody shot that nice young man when he was driving in his car…”
Forrest Gump is deliberately constructed to have the flashback effect as it is him telling his story to other people whilst sitting on the bench waiting for a bus. Therefore, the cinematography is almost blurry and half-there as if Forrest struggles to remember some parts that happened due to his less developed mind. I’ve noticed that the camera angles get clearer for parts that make him popular such as becoming a shrimp boat captain or playing ping pong. The lighting in these scenes gets brighter the more the memory comes back to him which I thought was a good direction from Robert Zemeckis. The capture of the war in Vietnam was shadowed well with the realistic point of view for the audience as Forrest’s adaptation of it is completely different as it’s less serious. “The bullet hit me directly in the buttocks!”
Considering the film is based on him, the character that is most interesting has got to be Forrest. Tom Hanks portrays a stereotypical “idiot” to be portrayed as different aspirational figures such as a Ping-Pong player for America followed by a fast football fanatic and winning the congressional medal of honour for his serving in the army. His character is a blind trail that drifts from one accident to the next but making him appear as heroic. His undying love for Jenny shows his childlike mind as he still sees it as them two being children in the adult world as it reminds him of an easier time. Forrest isn’t accustomed or prepared for the responsibility of independence due to his considered poor upbringing, not preparing him for the struggle of life, contradicted in the narrative.
Overall, everything about this film to me is worth watching. The character’s portrayal of the life he lives to the audience is flowing, moving and comical. It’s amazing to see that no matter who you are or where you come from, you can still make something of yourself which is shown by Forrest Gump as a whole. The cinematography kept up the contrast between realism and memories whilst capturing the film’s adaptation of the historic moments. Finally, the portrayal of his love for Jenny sets the audience up for this being a love story when in reality, it’s much more than that, it’s a colloquial narrator telling the story of his life and we as an audience witnessing it at the same time. A fantastic film to watch and I definitely recommend it. A stunning 9/10 is given for this film from me.
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