A Dreamer Walking

Forrest Gump

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on September 6, 2010

Forrest Gump is a unique story told in a flawless way. Robert Zemeckis the director of Forrest Gump was completely invisible in this film. I did not concentrate on magnificent shots, clever cuts, or breath taking effects, because I was too caught up in the story being told. Forrest Gump is a simple story about life, where the main character stays the same and the world changes around him. Tom Hanks is Forrest Gump, it is one of the greatest performances I have ever seen. The sincerity and innocents you see in Forrest is entirely believable. We see Forrest at the beginning of the movie as being a little stupid, he does not have any look about him that makes us think he is something special, but while the film goes on our interest and love for Forrest gets stronger, to the point that he starts to impact us on a very foundational level.

Forrest Gump was a unique movie in many ways. The movie goes against many rules of typical Hollywood film making. There is no visible villain. The main Character stays constant through out the whole film. You do not have a typical beginning middle and end, the hero is not portrayed as being more special then the rest of the character he actually is not as IQ smart as the average human being. The big action sequences are in the middle of the film instead of at the end, and there does not seem to be a explanation mark to the picture. Instead, at the end we are lead to believe that the story will just keep on going even though we are leaving.

When the character Forrest Gump (played by Tom Hanks) is introduced in the picture, we immediately see someone who is not all there. His speech is exaggerated and he does not seem to quite realize how to keep to his personal space. Forrest begins to tell someone a story, who has already indicated she is not interested. However through out the story Forrest tells, we begin to find out that he is the smartest one of them all. Forrest Gump is a character who stays close to the same through out the film. He has a innocents that effects everything around him. We are able to experience about four decades of American History  in the film, we see how America changes for both good and Bad. One of the brilliance’s of the movie is seeing Forrest physically going through our American history, he encounters famous characters such as Elvis, we see historical footage of Forrest meeting presidents such as John Kennedy, and we see Forrest recorded on the cover of magazines such as Time Magazine.

Through out the film we experience secondary characters that represents parts of America. Forrest’s love interest Jenny, is a very interesting character, she was abused as a young child and as she grows up she becomes a rebel in search for a cause. Jenny is a very typical character for her generation , you can easily use her as a symbol of the typical “rebel” of America during the 1960’s and 70’s. There is also Lt. Dan, a commanding officer that Forrest is under while in Vietnam. Lt. Dan and his regiment are attacked and in while in battle Dan is wounded, Forrest is able to save Lt. Dan, but due to the injuries Lt. Dan loses his legs. Like his forefathers Lt. Dan thought his destiny was to die in battle, Forrest took that away from Dan and now he is just a crippled old man with no real reason to live. Lt. Dan represents the crippled part of America.

Both Jenny and Dan are blinded to truth. They are so caught up in what the world thinks and their own prejudices that they can not find peace or salvation. Forrest has no prejudices and he could care less what the world thinks. Because of this Forrest is able to be a light to both Jenny and Dan, Forrest treats them with love and respect no matter how cruel they get or crippled they are. In essence Forrest is that vital key for both Lt. Dan and Jenny, to start changing and accepting themselves. Forrest is lead by his heart, the only three opinions he cares about is his Mothers, Jenny’s, and God’s. Because Forrest is the main character and he keeps the innocents of a child, we the audience are able to see the world (America specifically) in a very unique light.

Forrest Gump is one of the greatest visual effects movies of its time. The reason why the effects are so good is because  we hardly notice them.  Often directors go for the kind of effects that will show off their skill or their huge budget, this was not the case with Robert Zemeckis. Robert seems to realize that the best kind of effects are the ones that you do not notice but gets you more involved with the story. In almost every scene the picture is enhanced with special effects, whether its digitally removing legs or enhancing the sky and the clouds, Robert makes this film be in a world all of it’s own, the kind that you can only find in the movies.

Robert Zemeckis orchestrates the film perfectly. Everything works together flawlessly. As a director you need to have a good idea of the movie as a whole. With Forrest Gump we saw sound, music, effects, editing,  acting, cinematography, costumes, and production design, working together for the purpose of the story. Robert talked about the importance of not taking the audience out of the picture through creating too big of camera shots, or having one actor sacrifice character for humor. In regards to the script Robert relied on it as though it were the Bible. Robert does not encourage improvisation while shooting. He talked about the importance of building a trust with the actors, he wants them to have a plan that was already thought out, he talked about how it is unfair to improvise and throw the other actors off their plan. There is a point to Roberts thinking, I personally think there is more benefit to good improvisation then problems, but I respect the view of Robert and you can not argue with the results on this picture.

Forrest Gump was what it needed to be. The filmmakers did not try to make Forrest Gump fit a curtain genre, they were willing to take risks because they had faith in the characters and story. Forrest was able to show us the world in a completely different way. He was willing to follow his heart and kept his faith through the hardships and  successes. We are shown a world by the kind of person we often think less of. However, it was through the simplistic way Forrest saw the world, that he created change.

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