Forrest Gump is a movie about a slightly mentally disabled man named Forrest Gump. It is told from an unreliable narrator perspective, with Forrest as the narrator. With Forrest, we journey through his childhood, being called stupid and picked on by his classmates, finding a friend named Jenny who was being abused by her father, and him finding out that he sure can run fast. As the story unfolds, Forrest goes to college for his football (a feat that many never thought he would have been able to do), he joins the war and comes back to do the shrimping business. Out of context, this movie might sound a bit whack – however it’s a wonderful story about a man and his journey to finding his purpose.

This movie was released to the world on June 23, 1994. Forrest Gump is based on the book by Winston Groom, however the screenplay was by Eric Roth. The producers of the movie were Steve Starkey, Steve Tisch and Wendy Finerman. The director of this film was Robert Zemeckis. Forrest Gump received 4.5 stars out of 5 on the IMDb network for Canada. Three prominent actors in this film were Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump), Robin Wright (Jenny Curran), and Sally Field (Mrs. Gump.)

The first element I am using to analyze this movie is theme. The themes in Forrest Gump are evidently Death, Love and Responsibility.

Through the movie, we see that Forrest happens to be in almost every important timeline event in the 60’s and 70’s. When he was a kid, he had Elvis Presley come stay at his house and Presley took some cool moves from Forrest. He was at the ceremony of desegregation at the University of Alabama, where Governor George Wallace symbolically stood in front of the schoolhouse door and President Kennedy used military force to get him to move. Forrest went to the Oval Office to meet President Kennedy as part of the All American Football team. Gump was in the war at Vietnam and was awarded the medal of Honour for his bravery in the field by President Johnson. He was on the All American Ping pong team and he went to China. When he got home, he was a national celebrity and went on a talk show with John Lennon. One thing that ALL these moments in history have in common, is that all these people were shot and some were killed. We follow Forrest as he tries to understand death. His mother says on her deathbed, “Don’t be afraid sweetheart….death is just apart of life, something we’re all destined to do.”

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Forrest Gump watches as George Wallace stands in the doorway to the University of Alabama

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Forrest Gump shows Elvis Presley his moves

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Forrest Gump meets President JFK – “I gotta pee”

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Forrest’s mother dies – “It’s my time, it’s just my time.”

Forrest is a mighty great friend. He finds a true shrimp-loving friend named Bubba, when he joins in the war. Bubba also seems to have some learning difficulties, but that doesn’t stop Forrest from being a constant friend. “Bubba was my best, good friend. And even I know that ain’t something you can just find around the corner.”

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Forrest carries Bubba out of the forest to the water to die

Forrest sticks with Jenny straight from childhood and stands up for her when she is older. Throughout the movie, we constantly see him thinking about Jenny, hoping that she’s okay. Forrest proposes to Jenny, and when he’s told, “you don’t want to marry me,” he says, “Why don’t you love me Jenny? I am not a smart man, but I know what love is.”

 

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Jenny runs away from home and comes to sleep with Forrest because she’s scared

We also see Forrest Gump’s love for his son. Jenny has Forrest’s baby and Forrest falls head over heels with little Forrest as soon as he sees him. “He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen….”

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Forrest meets his son for the first time

Lastly, we have the theme of responsibility. Something that Forrest Gump knows how to attain. Throughout the movie, we see Forrest’s responsibility to save Jenny increase. As Jenny gets hit by an abusive boyfriend, yelled at by a bunch of lust-driven men, and even getting her head slightly knocked on the car window by a guy, Forrest jumps in and punches his way through for Jenny’s safety – even whens she doesn’t want it.

All Forrest Gump wants is for Jenny to be safe.

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Jenny lives at Forrest’s house for a brief time, he enjoys having her around and he wants it to stay this way.

At the end of the movie, Forrest finds out that he has a son, who’s name is also Forrest. He also takes responsibility over his own offspring and loves him like a father should.

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Forrest and his son fishing at the exact spot where he and Jenny watched the fireworks

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Forrest and his son watching, “Bert and Ernie.”

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Forrest finally has a family to provide for

The second element that I have chosen is acting. The acting alone in this movie is phenomenal. Robin Wright plays Jenny Curran perfectly, portraying her as a repetitive girl who won’t accept Forrest’s help, but is loving and kind. Also, Sally Field as Mrs. Gump did an amazing job, caring for Forrest and treating him no different than any child and constantly telling him that he is worth just as much as any other child. Tom Hanks does a fantastic job portraying a simple-minded man who goes through his life. Let’s just say, at the end of this film, I was crying my eyes out when he said good bye to Jenny, “I miss you Jenny, if there’s anything you need, I won’t be far away.” Overall, the actors/actresses were extremely natural and played their parts wonderfully.

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Mama Gump tells Forrest that he is no different than anybody else

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Jenny Curran falls down in front of her old house, where she experience abuse

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Forrest Gump says goodbye to Jenny

Thirdly, I wanted to talk about the element of editing. I simply love the way that this film was edited, when Gump has a bunch of “historic television” scenes, the scene is shot in black and white. I like this because it gives one an “old-time” feel. The editing in this film is simple enough to understand. I really like this as well, because it doesn’t make it too confusing. It’s a simple edit, just like Forrest Gump is a simple man – makes sense.

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As the movie progresses, we see a change in the filter of the shot – this portrays that time has since passed

I really enjoyed how they edited Forrest Gump in the Black and White video shown above and then went back to colour to show that life goes on.

Lastly, the final element I would like to analyze the movie with, would be cinematography. The shots in this movie are breathtaking. There’s a rich simplicity that goes along with each scene that I have snap-shots of below, and I truly believe that they added greatly to the movie as a whole.

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Forrest Gump watches the sunset on his shrimp boat, “Jenny”

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Forrest and Jenny sit out in their tree

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Forrest Gump Cinematic

Rastilin0903 had to say this about the film: “You know how they say that some movies are timeless? This is one of those films. Everything in this movie is just simply put, perfect.” I honestly couldn’t agree more with him on this one. It is a timeless film that sticks with us forever.

This movie not only teaches us how to truly love, but it teaches us to not judge a book by it’s cover. Forrest Gump may be a simple-minded man, but once you get to know him, he is the sweetest man alive.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching this film and would give it a 10 out of 10.

~Sar

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