Monday, November 24, 2014

Forrest Gump

Movie Name: Forrest Gump
Year of Release: 1994
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Sally Field, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, Haley Joel Osment, Siobhan Fallon, Sam Anderson
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

"Forrest Gump" was the big winner of the Academy Awards of 1994 - the film went on to win Oscars for best picture, director and actor, to name but a few. The film is an adaptation of a novel by Winston Groom, and follows the story of Forrest Gump, a southern man, who we accompany throughout his childhood and adult years. Forrest has a low IQ, which makes him a target for people who consider him stupid and slow minded, but throughout his life, through a random series of coincidences, he meets and interacts with most of American popular culture icons from the 60s, 70s and even 80s. The common thread that seems to dominate his entire life, is his love for Jenny, a young woman, who experiences all the excesses from the 70s and who ends up paying a steep price for it.
Robert Zemeckis is an intelligent director, who has directed modern entertainment classics, such as "Romancing the Stone", "Back to the Future" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?". When "Forrest Gump" premiered, the director was coming from another hit, the comedy "Death Becomes Her". "Forrest Gump", much like the director's most personal films, features a central character who manages to succeed in his chosen path, no matter what the obstacles are - Forrest transcends the limitations of his IQ to have a successful life, one where he gets to touch and be touched by a series of interesting characters and situations. The film falters in the over simplification of themes and subjects - it tries to touch many situations, and the last stretch of the film feels forced (Jenny as the representation of the excess, who gets punished for that). The film is nonetheless a great accomplishment, featuring stunning visual effects and fantastic performances from Tom Hanks, Robin Wright and Sally Field. A good film always worth revisiting.