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Forrest Gump (DVD, 2001, 2-Disc Set, Collector's Edition- Sensormatic)
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Analysis and Review of the character Forrest Gump
Nov 16, 2003
Review by deanparkr
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Excellent Acting, Direction and plot
The Bottom Line: Forrest Gump is a masterpiece that has already won six Oscars, Go see it!
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Analysis and Review of the character Forrest Gump
***Note*** This Analysis and Review reveal everything about the films plot!
Forrest Gump is a true classic one of the best films of all time. Directed by Robert Zemicks we are taken through the life of a loving caring man as he overcomes the hardships of life, played flawlessly by Tom Hanks. This film has it all action, war, romance and drama what more could you ask for? Forrest Gump accompanies all tastes to suit everyone. I can find no film, which truly compares to the brilliance of Forrest Gump. The strong love he has for fuels his desire to live.
The true beauty of this film is that we can look back at the film and relate to the hardship Forrest has to face whilst also looking strongly at whats wrong with our society, Racism, war, murder, bullying and more. As we follow Forrests life we realise what problems there are in our world. Thats why Forrest Gump is truly successful.
One of the beauties of the film is the way Forrest Gump is presented. Tom Hanks play Forrest Gump flawlessly. Forrests character is very emotional, people can easily relate to his actions. Forrests Gumps character can easily be referred to as stupid. Forrest tries to understand the world around him but struggles to apprehend it. Forrests mother wants Forrest to have the best of everything whether it be, Health, fitness or education. Forrest sadly struggles to keep up with the demand. We know little about Forrest father he may have died in the war or he may have left the family, we dont know and nor does Forrest.
The Film begins with a simple feather floating down and eventually we see Forrest waiting at a bus stop. This is present day, as the film tells Forrest Gumps life story from his point of view. Forrest tells his story to a few people waiting for the bus to turn up. We start his story seeing Forrest as a child. We learn about his mothers high expectations of him. Forrest is a quiet character, who in the beginning is lonely except for his mother and Jenny Forrest is alone. Forrest has strong emotions for Jenny, after all Jenny has been Forrests only friend since he was a child. Forrest is different from most children however; as his mother insisted that, he has braces on his legs, so Forrest is often bullied in and out of school.
As Forrest grows up his strong emotions for Jenny grow but the presence of constant bullying somewhat creates a rift between them. Forrest knows little about Jennys life at home and the hardship it entails. Little does Forrest know that Jenny has a dreadful life at home. One day when Forrest goes round Jennys house, he discovers what her life is really like along with the truth about her father who beats Jenny up. Forrest cannot understand why it is happening and becomes anxious and worried for Jenny and her welfare.
At that point, we jump forward in time to see Forrest in his college years. Notice that each introduction to a different setting is accompanied by an old news bulletin. Once again, we see Forrest bullied, based on his original bullying scene with a few students in a truck chasing Forrest down the road. Jenny shouts to Forrest a familiar line- Run Forrest Run! Forrest runs and out runs the truck! Noticeable differences this time around is that firstly, the music is different with a Cow-boy like tune whereas before it was dramatic music as Forrest escapes his leg braces. Secondly, Forrest does not run home but runs across a Rugby field where a whole bunch of people watch Forrest run over at super speed, captain of the rugby squad is amazed and invites Forrest to the team.
Forrest would never have guessed that he would be on a rugby squad, some people may call it destiny, but Forrests situation is more related to fate or chance. The difference between fate and destiny is that destiny is something you expect to happen whereas fate is doing something or becoming something without even expecting to do or be that. It is a very complicated thing to grasp, but Forrest did not expect to be in the rugby squad but fate intervened when he ran over the field and made him a rugby star. As we see later on in the film there are a lot more coincidences relating to fate in Forrests life. Forrest only knows one rule of rugby and that is to run.
The next major scene is when Forrest finds Jenny being abused by someone else. Out of desperation on Forrests behalf, he intervenes and beats up the offender while Jenny tells him to stop. Jenny explains to Forrest that he does not understand the true meaning of Love and she leaves him confused and very upset. Forrest cannot comprehend Jennys words and the ever-growing rift between them is even more evident.
Soon after Forrest earns a rugby trophy and moved on to join the army where he meets Bubba an expert shrimper on the bus. The bus scene is played out with pouring rain in the background and presented like the scene where it is Forrests first day at school with people shouting that Forrest cannot sit with them because the seat is taken. Bubba is presented in a similar way as Jenny first was on the bus except he obviously is not a girl. But we see Bubba and Forrest build up a strong formidable companionship. During his army, training Forrest takes all his orders very seriously and carries out his orders swiftly, whereas other army recruits are more relaxed. This is partly due to Forrests strict upbringing, when Forrest does finally go into the field, he still remains calm. The war scenes is set in the rain, infact it remains raining for months. Forrest makes use of his time by writing letters to Jenny everyday. One day however the rain at long last stops and as a sense of relief spreads over the recruits gun shots are heard and the recruits including Forrest are engaged in battle. The troops are forced in the frantic conditions to split up, Forrest remains with Lt. Dan who knows the mission is fruitless insists that Forrest leaves the battle field to save his own skin but Forrest will not leave Lt. Dan to die and out of compassion Forrest carries the legless lt. Dan to safety as he rattles on that its his destiny to die in the battlefield. Forrest is still determined to save his friend Bubba but each time Forrest finds another recruit who needs rescuing. When Forrest eventually finds Bubba and carries him to safety Bubba is severely injured. However, Forrest does not want to admit that Bubba may die and is determined for him to stay alive, but alas, he dies in Forrests arms with one last request for Forrest to continue his fathers shrimping business, Forrest agrees. At this point we see a close up shot of Forrests face expression and emotions, Bubba was his only best friend aside from Jenny and he has just lost Bubba. Forrest can barely live with this tragedy but manages to bottle it up inside has he has done in the past.
After the battle, Forrest lies in hospital next to the legless Lt. Dan, who once again explains to Forrest that it was his Destiny to die in the field as his ancestors did in past wars. Forrest is confused at first but as the story plays out, he begins to understand Lt Dans point of view. Later in the hospital a fellow patient introduces Forrest to a game of ping-pong, Forrest gets to grips with the game and later becomes a enthusiast in the hospital infact he even becomes a ping pong champion. Does this relate to anyway Lt. Dans version of destiny? Not really, Forrests situation is more based on fate because Forrest had no idea he would become a ping-pong champion at all let alone a ping-pong player. Destiny in Lt. Dans case was to die and serve in the war, because Lt Dan wanted to achieve this, he could take steps to try and ensure that is supposed Destiny would take place which is the opposite of Forrests ping pong situation. As the film, plays out we will see more situations based on fate.
The next scene relating to fate actually follows very quickly as Forrest is roped in by fate to come up on stage in front of hundreds maybe thousands of people to deliver a speech on the war conditions in Vietnam. Little does Forrest know that in the midst of the crowd is Jenny and when she hears Forrest she runs towards him, Forrest is thrilled to see her again. Forrest is very happy as the two quickly exchange their life stories so far, Forrest tells her about Bubba and Lt. Dan. Later on, Jenny decides to take Forrest to a club of which she is a member. However in the club Forrest sees a man grab Jenny, Forrest does not want to lose her again he decides to start a fight with the man Jenny immediately pulls Forrest back where they engage in brief conversation where exclaims that the man should not have touched Jenny while Jenny has the daunting task of telling Forrest that a lot of people touch her as part of her career. Forrest based on strict but protective upbringing is both shocked and confused at the situation, which leaves Forrest upset as Jenny leaves his life once again.
Forrest later meets up with Lt. Dan again where he is shocked to find out that the army gave Forrest the Medal of Honour to the service. As Forrest tells him about his Shrimping plans Lt. Dan explains sarcastically that if Forrest becomes a shrimping boat captain he would be his first mate. Meanwhile Forrests time in the army is over which in turn ends his ping-pong career leaving the pah clear for shrimping.
Little did Lt. Dan realise that he would have to live up to his promise when Forrest does become a Shrimp boat captain and Lt. Dan becomes his first mate. At first the shrimping duo are extremely unsuccessful in the business as they fail to catch almost anything. However their luck was about to change because fate once again intervenes and a huge storm uproots the docks and destroys other shrimp boats, except for one a shrimp boat called Jenny manned by Forrest. Because of the storm Forrests boat is the only boat left to catch shrimp and without competition there business was about to take off as hordes of shrimp come pouring in. Forrest becomes successful and very rich, but deep down Forrest could not careless about the money. Forrest gives money away to the community and Bubbas family. I want to come back to the idea of fate once again, as I am reminded of a film called Being there starring Peter Sellers as the character Chance. Chance I believe is very similar to Forrest as his understanding of life is so very much related to Blissful Ignorance (a lack of knowledge that is worthwhile not knowing.) But most of all the way Forrest and Chance are related to fate. This can best be explained with an example. In the film, Being there Chance has the rare opportunity to meet a Washington representive and the chance to voice his opinions when requested. Chance answered the representive question using the only knowledge he knew about gardening and nature. Chance has been brought up learning only how to look after a garden so everything he says is in someway related to gardening or TV. If Forrest was presented the same question he would answer it using some of his mothers best quotes most notably Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what youre going to get However my main point is out of fate Chances point of view made its way to national television where the president quoted chances words famously. Chance would never have anticipated anything he would of said would ever be read out on national TV by the President of United States. There are so many examples of fate in both films, which makes the two very similar and the meaning of fate more apparent, and how it compares to Lt. Dans version of Destiny makes a very interesting topic.
Coming back to Forrest Gump, Lt Dan talks to Forrest about the war and him rescuing him while he insisted not to be rescued in relation to his destiny. Lt. Dan after many years finally thanks Forrest for rescuing him before jumping off the boat and swimming away. Forrest remains silent and watches Lt. Dan float away in silence. Perhaps Forrest finally understands Lt Dans idea of destiny, and respects that?
Forrests life was about to change again but not before having to cope with a huge tragedy. His mother has been taken ill and will die shortly. Forrests mother explains how proud she is of him and reminds him one last time of her immortal words Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what youre going to get. Forrests mother says it was her destiny to bring up Forrest, Forrest asks what his destiny is but he can only find out his destiny by himself and no one could tell him what is destiny is. When she does die, Forrest bottles it up inside and moves on emotionally until one day when old memories are dug up
Jenny arrives at Forrests home in Alabama and Forrest is ever so happy to see her again. They exchange stories after she moves in and becomes a permanent figure of his life. They fit together like two peas in a pod or as Forrest would say as peas and carrots again come to think of it thats one of the thinks Chance would say from Being there. One day Forrest decides to propose to Jenny only to be let down. A bewildered Forrest struggles to learn and understand that Jenny is not ready for that kind of commitment and as one thing leads to another, they eventually end up in bed. Sadly, for Forrest Jenny thinks she has done wrong and decides to leave Forrest early in the morning. When Forrest finds out she has left him he does what he had always done with his emotions in life, bottled them up inside. Except this time he decided to start running, he ran and ran to the coast and back again and when he reached another coast he decided to keep on going to the next. Forrest ran all over the state for 3 whole years! People soon heard about Forrest and decided to run with him to try to discover why he was running. Of course that is the question why was he running? Running was Forrests way of letting of steam after all everyone in the world is different some people when faced with lifes hardships face it head on, shout it out to let it go. Some people however like in Forrests case bottle it up inside. Forrest running those many miles was his way of letting it go and thinking about his life. When Forrest stopped running, he had a fresh mind and knew what to do next.
Forrests telling of his life in the past is over know, as we meet him back in the present sitting down at the bus stop telling his story to an elderly women. It would appear fate would intervene yet again as the old lady informs him that he dosent need to catch a bus as Jennys apartment is only a few blocks away all Forrest needs to do is walk there (of course he actually runs there
). Forrest thanks the lady before setting off, when he reaches the apartment he finds Jenny as a mother. Forrest asks Jenny the what the boys name is when she tells him his name is Forrest after his father. Jenny explains that he is Forrests son, Forrest is taken back by the news and is in very high spirits. But the happiness was yet to last long as Jenny informs Forrest she fatally ill and the doctors could do nothing about it. Jenny would die. Forrest is upset and offers to look after Jenny but she has other plans as she asks Forrest to marry her, and of course Forrest agrees. Nothing seems to be right in Forrests life with Jenny, there is always misfortune involved in their relationship which is hard for Forrest to comprehend. The wedding day was as good as it could be set in a beautiful day; Forrest is greeted by an old friend Lt. Dan after many years. Forrest is happier than ever he is married and a father. It is a shame that the cruel world would limit the happiness as Jenny soon dies to fast for Forrest to cope and he is reduced to tears at her grave, planted under the tree where they spent so much time of their childhood under. Forrests emotions for Jenny finally come out as the music is sad and the wind brushes past Forrest almost silently. The audience is forced by the excellent direction to show remorse for Jenny. Forrest has a letter to give jenny written by Forrest JR, but Forrest cannot read it so he leaves it by her grave. Forrest is very proud for his son who is very bright; Forrest spends a lot of time with him teaching him Ping-pong and more.
As the film closes to an end, we see Forrests JR at he bus stop. As he waits for the school bus, we are reminded of Forrests first school bus trip and the audience feels happy as we see how far Forrest has come in his life. The feather that lies beside Forrest up by the wind high up in the air where the camera pans out to see the beautiful landscape that Forrest grew up in. As the Music flares, the credits roll as we come to the end of Forrests story.
Overall, after seeing this movie for about eight times already I can say that it really a classic that will live on in my collection. I strongly recommend for people to see Forrest Gump on Video or the newly released DVD edition. Fans also may like to know the Special extended edition of Forrest Gump is now available on DVD where you can find more special features than you can wave a stick at. Forrest Gump is a feel good movie for everyones tastes. Go see it you will not be disappointed! Moreover, I find the way the film contrasts fate and destiny is outstanding. The direction and presentation of Forrest throughout the story is spectacularly supported by Tom Hanks, which makes Forrest Gump one of the best films of all time. Whats more there are parts of the film, which we ourselves can relate to, making Forrest Gump a personal film as its array of topics can often to peoples life experiences. Forrest Gump is a masterpiece that has already won six Oscars, Go see it!
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