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Forrest Gump Essay
Forrest Gump is an intriguing and graceful comical film. It is interesting to see how life can surprise us as God turns our weaknesses into strengths leaving all in awe. Driven by the notion that life is a box of chocolates and one never knows which filing they will pick, a delicate, graceful and innocent Forrest Gump comes into the scene. The captivating movie based on a wise story is depicted with all honesty about a naïve yet gifted Forrest whose inabilities transform into amazing abilities. Tom Hanks creates a guileless young man into a stolid actor who will sweep America with his tremendous accomplishments. With a low IQ of 75, it is assumed that Gump does not understand anything asserts (King 1).
However, Gump stands out as a talented and exceptional young man who succeeds more than those with higher IQ levels. He creates a legacy in the American history to last a lifetime. Watching this heartwarming story of a young man who is termed a retard and seeing his numerous achievements got me thinking of how much human beings limit their abilities. We have all an opportunity to make the best out of every situation, yet some of us limit our abilities with lame excuses of why we cannot make it. If Forrest made it, who are we not to make it? In this regard, the movie boldly highlights the fact that human beings have limitless abilities and it is upon individuals to exploit their abilities to the maximum.
The blockbuster movie produced in 1994 has excellent lessons for every audience and in particular those with special needs. It is indeed an iconic film that falls under the comedy drama genre having won multiple awards for its fascinating storyline. Top of the list of awards was the 67th Academy Award, the 1995 people’s choice award, the 1995 golden globe award, 1995 MTV Movie Award, and the 2005 American Film Institute Award, just to mention a few (Cara 1). The film is adapted from the Same Name novel by Winston Groom and directed by Robert Zemeck. It is an elaborate idea of an America that embraces rampant vulgarity and includes narration of transcendent beauty (Kehr 1). Information on the details of the movie, such as its cost of production, are not limited. However, every viewer who has watched the film will agree that it is of top quality and must have been financed well. The returns of the movie have been rewarding, making it an all-time favorite to many people to date, several years after its release.
The plot of the film revolves around Gump who from birth seems doomed due to his disabilities but later turns out to be an extraordinary being. He rises above the perfectly normal being to be like a supernatural being who surpasses all limitations set for him. In his childhood, we see a young boy with a leg disability that ties him to clutches to assist him to move. From this tender age, Gump suffers humiliation, ridicule, and bullying from his classmates due to his condition. Suddenly, Jenny who comes into the love scene, tells him to run. With all the panic and struggle to run, the metal framework supporting him falls off making him no longer bound to his clutches (Groom 3).
For me, being freed from the clutches is a time that Gump sets himself free from all the limitations set for his life. He sets free ready to explore his abilities in living a life that is no longer supported by a metal framework. As he starts running without the clutches, he is as swift as wind and can finally fly on top of the world. From this point, Gump will astonish the world with his remarkable success in everything he sets his mind to do. He starts by joining the football team, then the army to take part in the Vietnam War, and finally off to the world to make a successful multimillionaire entrepreneur. In other terms, he initially seemed limited in his abilities; however, he now seems to have all the abilities to successfully pursue his life dreams. The fact he achieves these dreams is testament that indeed disability is not inability.
Three features that are conspicuous for me in this movie are the use of symbolism, love scenes, and acting roles to effectively pass across the message. Right from the first scene of the film, one cannot help but wonder what will happen next. There is a vast blue sky, crystal light, and a feather floating in the air and falling on Forrest’s foot beautifully. The scene creates an ambient mood for watching the film. For me, the feather is a symbol of purity, simplicity, and hidden beauty ready to float and soar high. Its white color shows innocence and naivety. It makes me think of Forrest as a simple, innocent young man who has a hidden treasure that the world is yet to see later on as the movie unfolds. He will soar as high as those feathers leaving his critics wondering how he made it that far in his condition. It is an ideal case of one overcoming their limitations towards the pursuit of their life goals.
The love scenes and the romance breathe new life to the film and open a new chapter for Gump. The very first time that Gump develops a love interest is while he is still in middle school. Jenny becomes his lifetime crush, and he cannot overcome this love many years later. She is also evidently his best friend in school, as she tells him when to run from the bullies. Acting all heroic for his crush, Gump runs into his victory and freedom without realizing that he can now do things he thought he could not do. While in the college dorm, Jenny allows Forrest to caress her but he ends up losing his self-respect and her interest after being overly excited to the point of starting to ejaculate. A sincere love is what Forrest feels for Jenny despite the fact that she takes a darker path in life later on. Forrest wishes to marry her but Jenny tells him that he does not know what love is. By this time Jenny has become a stripper, is abusing drugs, and finally contracts a viral disease. Love is indeed strong but in this film, it converges at a bittersweet end, according to King (1).
An incredible job has been done in the selection of actors and assignment of acting roles. There is no better actor for the role of Forrest Gump than Tom Hanks. The Oscar award-winning actor remains simple and calm throughout the film. His gentle soul naturally transforms the film into a reality. The innocent naïve man amazes many through his wonders, always in the middle of the most earth-trembling acts and lifetime achievements. He is the guy who runs like the wind after his clutches fall off. He is the man who reports the Watergate break into police. He stands as an inspiration to John Lennon who ends up writing Imagine. Gump is not done standing out as he becomes an all-time American football great and a medal holder in honor of his win in Vietnam (King 1). The list of his achievements is endless as we see a young man who opens up his chocolate and picks the best pieces to become a multimillionaire businessman who pays white house a visit in the presence of President Kennedy and all esteemed elites (Groom 45). Interesting to note is the fact that all the achievements that Gump makes are driven by his personal philosophy of life as a box of chocolates, an interesting quote from his mother.
Despite all the touching and stirring creativity in this film, critics feel that it is an overly sentimental film passing on a somewhat problematic message. The fact that the storyline is about a retard with clutches who outgrows his weakness to become a legend does not go well with some people. Dwelling on Forrest too much seems to raise concerns for people who feel that disabled people do not stand a chance to make it in life. However, that does not outweigh the fact that life, like a box of chocolates, gives everyone an opportunity to pick it. Critics fail to recognize the moral lesson in this story, which is using what you have to become the best. The encouraging message in this story is a true definition of strength at its weakest point. Finally, we should learn that life is full of unexpected surprises and turns. Nobody is inferior and incompetent of achieving their goals as long as they remain positive and know who they are.
Cara, Xoxo. Forrest Gump film analysis. Scribd, 2011. http://www.scribd.com/doc/50791943/Forrest-Gump-Film-Analysis-Essay#scribd.
King, Dennis. Forrest Gump. Tulsa World, 1994. http://www.tulsaworld.com/archives/forrest-gump/article_fa0c2da7-08ce-5773-abea-4f50288e6fa3.html.
Groom, Winston. Forrest Gump. London: Black Swan, 1994. Print.