Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Forrest Gump Review

Do I really have to convince you to see this movie?  Chances are, if you care, you already have.  And then the chances are good that you would also recommend it to people.  For my money, this is flat out one of the best movies ever made.  For its time, the effects were unbelievable, the writing is solid, and the story is gripping and engaging.  The comic relief is well spaced and just funny enough to make you laugh while remaining in the seriousness of the moment.  It's one of those films that can make you laugh out loud and still bawl your eyes out later on.  Finally, the acting is some of the best I've ever seen.  In fact, for all of the movies I have watched over the years, Tom Hanks' performance as Forrest Gump is the most well-deserved Best Actor winner in history.

But it isn't just the solid technical aspects that make Forrest Gump so good.  There are two further reasons why I love this film.  First, I love history.  To be able to see some of the most important events in history through the eyes of a simpleton brings a unique perspective to the study of the past.  Even though Forrest's involvement in these eras and events is purely fictional, it shows how the world is becoming increasingly tumultuous and complex but humanity, at its core, remains fairly simple.  While the world changes, our basic needs and desires stay constant.

Second, using the hyperbole of the most simple of people being thrown into the most extraordinary of situations hammers home an even more philosophical point.  Even though many of us are just trying to live our lives without any grand outcome, the little things we do can have a profound impact on others and the world.  Forrest was just trying to save Bubba in the firefight.  He just felt like dancing while Elvis played guitar.  Bear Bryant told him to run with the football so he did.  And he just felt like going for a jog.  But these and the other events changed lives and history within this film's universe.

The only problem I have with this movie is the part about him running across the country for three plus years.  While all of Forrest's life events are far fetched, the running for that long was just a little too far over the line and seems oddly out of place in the film.  But by the time it gets to that part, it doesn't matter.  You will have already seen one of the greatest movies of all time.

And, because my "thing" is to give a see or don't see recommendation at the end of every review, I guess I have to say it to keep the streak alive: See it.

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