In Savannah, GA in 1981, a slow-witted, solitary man named Forrest Gump ( Tom Hanks ) waits for a bus. In the meantime, this simple-looking man shares the astonishing story of his life, to any stranger or passerby who will listen.
Yeaaap, that’s the plot, in short and simple terms. “Slow dude talks ears off everybody he meets.” What? You KNOW it is….don’t hide that smile, I see it! 😉 😀 )
But yeah, sure, it is a BIT more complicated than that, and of course, we’re going to get into it….
“So…What On The Spacecraft is still Good?
For this type of a film, where all the action really revolves around just ONE character, you need a lead actor who can “get the job done” and relate that “big character” to the audience. In 1994, that guy was Tom Hanks, and without any question, Hanks does EXACTLY that. Gump is, to-date, the signature performance of his career, and it’s clear to anyone who watches this film as to why. Hanks portrays Gump as a likeable southern gentleman who’s life is deceptively simple on the outside, yet filled with a depth of purpose, love and of duty, even if Gump’s mind seems incapable of such contemplations. Hanks gives his Gump a default expression that seems, at first glance, “blank” yet, there’s a calmness there too, a Zen-like monk-face who is well-prepared to take life as it comes, even on its own terms.
In other words, there’s a deep wisdom to this character, whether Gump himself is wise or not. It speaks well of an actor from Oakland, CA, if he has given the”conservative” genteel South one of its most beloved characters, despite himself being as Southern-fried as Cleveland. 😛
Now THAT’S acting! B)
The quality doesn’t just stop with Hanks, otherwise this movie would not be a classic. Gary Sinise steps up and gives the most endeared performance of his career as the grumpy, but well-meaning former C-O of Gump in Vietnam, “LeeeewtenNANT Dan” Taylor, who represents the realistic counter-balance to Gump’s sunny optimism.
Other fine performances are delivered by Mykelti Williamson as Gump’s platoon buddy, Sally Fieldas Gump’s indomitable mother, and of course Robin Wright as Jenny, the tragically-flawed love of Forrest’s life.
The “heavier” moments of drama are laced together throughout by subtle moments of humor, at the unwitting expense of Forrest, but are brilliantly done by the writers to keep you going from flashback-to-flashback, eager to see what will happen next.
Also, Gump’s soundtrack is one of the most “buyable” ever made, with an extensive tracklist, that is THE tracklist of the “Baby Boomer” generation.
“It’s Like People Do Things Just Because They’re Paid…And That’s Just Really Sad.”
Obviously, since I’ve already said up top that Gump is one of my favorite movies, I’m not going to have THAT many complaints, however, this wouldn’t be a “balanced” review, if I didn’t point out a few things that aren’t so “kosher” about it… so, I’m gonna…yeaaaah…uh-huh…whatever. 😛 lol
For starters, this film runs a little looooooooong, so for younger viewers who are used to 60-80 minutes of “wam-bam-blow-it-up, thank-you-Ma’am” popcorn summer movie thrills, this movie might wear on their attention spans. It’s more slowly-paced and contemplative than many of those born after, say 1990, are used to. 😉
Also for the more cynical and jaded among us, they might find the idea that ONE unknown halfwit man could be coincidentally present in, and a witness of, so many critical events in 20th century history, to be a HUGGGE strreeeeeetch in creditbility. These cold-hearted logical bastards 😉 might see all these “events” stuffed into one man’s life story as, at best, overkill, and at worst, the lying hyperbole of a redneck village idiot.
But WE aren’t cold-hearted uber-logical coffeehouse evil bastard types, now are we?
(Well, right NOW, anyway :p lol )
Like it or not, Forrest Gump is a classic.
(Though if you dont like this movie, I’d suspect you’ve got the DEEEEVIIIL in you! :p ;D )
It’s more than just a comedy-drama. It’s more than just a story of one man’s life, who is self-described as “not a smart man” but also a story that really DOES know, “what love is. “ and demonstrates it time and time again. For all of Forrest’s unintentional humor and mental dullness, he does “get” what’s important in life.
Forrest’s love and loyalty to those he cares about never ends, his optimism and “stick-to-it-tiveness” never stops, his faith and confidence in the future never waivers. .
He not only demonstrates how his life was lived, but how life SHOULD be lived.
He keeps on running, he keeps on going, and makes it all look easy.
Who doesn’t admire and want to know somebody with that kind of heart?
Check out Forrest Gump if you’re one of the few people who hasn’t seen it before, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with it…at all.
And that’s all I have to say…’bout that. 🙂
Ya’may not believe this but, he can bullshit and eat doughnuts….like the wind blows,