DIRECTOR: ROBERT ZEMECKIS
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Don Burgess
MUSIC: Alan Silvestri
WRITTEN BY: Winston Groom
CAST: Tom Hanks (Forrest), Robin Wright (Jenny), Gary Sinise (Lt. Dan), Sally Field (Momma), Mykelti Williamson (Bubba)
ONE WORD: This film is a GEM.
Considering the technical ability, and talent, that Hollywood is capable of, FORREST GUMP, is a prime example of the kind of film making one is capable of making, but rarely gets done. It is a wonderful piece of fluff and entertaining, while also having a heck of a lot more going for it, that is ... unusual, but one can easily say that life is like that isn't it?
An outstanding script, with a beautifully written view of history, and an incredible array of images that take us back, and make us look at a few things. In the process, it is hard not to notice the Forrest Gump in many of us.... least of all the one in the screen.
Forrest Gump is a young man that had a rough start in life, with a low IQ, but his momma just wouldn't quit on him. She did what she had to do to make sure that her son got everything he could. He got braces on his legs at an young age. And later when it was time to enter school, she had to finagle the principal to get the kid in. And after getting in school, he meets the one person in his life that makes it all worth while for him, Jenny. And that's when this film really takes off. You live and you die. You cry and you laugh.
Forrest's adventures take you through his college days, and his lucky break as a star football player, and helping his team score a few more touchdowns. And no sooner was he graduated that the Army comes calling, and the young man finds himself taken to Vietnam. He gets injured, and then sent home, and immediately gets caught up in the raucous of the anti war demonstrations. And now the determined young man is very much able to make a difference, even if it isn't what he planned, or would like to have. It seems that at every moment he turns up in time, Jenny is just around the corner. She has grown, but they never have come together as the couple Forrest would have wanted, be it Jenny's independence or her earlier years of being assaulted by her own father. But after a few more historical ( oppps historical ) events, she relents, and surprises him.
The very best thing in this film is the way that history is filtered into the story. There are very few moments that some clever bits and pieces of history get strewn into the story, that just leave us mesmerized, be it a meeting with a young man that carries a guitar and is having fun with the kid, or much later, his calling room service to help topple a presidency.
It's hard to fault any of the acting jobs in this film, one could say that the character of Lt. Dan is weak at the start, but he becomes likeable and a rather enjoyable character towards the end. Tom Hanks should walk away with another Oscar, and it is hard to believe that any film will be able to steal anything from this one. There are not too many films that painstakingly, and beautifully take, a novel, a history, and mix it up with a nice story, to come up with a blend that is extraordinary in both content and just about everything else that you can find in it.
Although the film has its sad moments, it also counters with some of the funniest things that one could ever have seen, or encountered in film history. The technical work that blends the presidents to the character, and the various other celebrities, is very well done, and hard not to appreciate. For once, even the presidents look like people that we can relate to. And Forrest is there to give us a first hand report on the whole incident.
Truly magnificent film making. Brilliantly written and conceived, and directed with a lot of care to insure that the character can survive all the obstacles he faces. But, they are not obstacles, as long as he has that one person in his mind.....
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