SGNEWWAVE Presents – Forrest Gump (1994)

“My momma used to say, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”

Tom Hanks. 1994. Combine this two and you will get Forrest Gump. 1994 was one hell of a year for film, with masterpieces like Disney’s Lion King and comedy classics like Dumb and Dumber airing on the screens. The summer of 1994 also saw the release of one of the greatest classic films – Forrest Gump.

Robert Zemeckis’  Forrest Gump is a movie that almost everyone is familiar with. Tom Hank is a dynamic actor who has played many diverse roles and his effulgent acting is showcased once again in Forrest Gump. Here, Hank plays a simple-minded, saccharine and naive man who lives his life by his mother’s sayings.

The story starts off with Forrest relating his bittersweet life story to people waiting for the bus. Gump shares his childhood where he is often made fun of by his peers for wearing leg braces to straighten his back. This sets the tone for the film as one realize Forrest isn’t just another individual with a normal life story. He is less mentally advanced than his peers; with an IQ of 75 , his life seems to be cursed with setbacks from the very moment when he is denied entry into a public elementary school.

However, Gump’s mother believes that Forrest deserves equal opportunities and will in fact, succeed in life. She constantly tells him that he is “the same as everyone else” despite him being constantly taunted for his differences. On the first day of school, everyone in the school bus ostracises him except for a girl named Jenny, who soon becomes his best friend and the girl. It is Jenny who chants the iconic catchphrase “ Run, Forrest, Run!” that many of us are familiar with which was what enabled Forrest to realise his innate talent for running, the first step on his path of success. This moment where he ran away from his childhood bullies paved the way for his life experiences later and could even be the pretext that influences some of the pivotal historical moments in the film. Throughout all of these events, Jenny, Forrest’s childhood friend occasionally appears in and out of Forrest’s life and seems to elude him. Yet, she is also the basis of the film’s raison d’etre .To me, the apex of Jenny and Forrest relationship is a heartwarming and welcome mix to throw into Forrest’s life journey, which in itself, serves to provide many insights on how one should lead their lives.

Needless to say, the cinematography of the film mixed along with soft mellow music at parts brings more character to the film, letting those who watch the movie reminisce Forrest’s past memories alongside with him. The film is technically impeccable with footages of past events such as shots of past presidents are introduced subtly into the film without once breaking the film’s flow.

Even after all these years, Forrest Gump remains a hit and one of the most quotable movies of all time. “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”, is perhaps one of my favourite quotes of all time as it succinctly articulates the flow of the whole movie. Like the quote and Forrest’s life journey, unpredictable circumstances arise all the time in life. However, if one remains genuine, loyal and take life a step at a time, one might just trump life’s adversities and even shine through it. Forrest Gump is a timeless movie that has touched my heart and is one of my most rewatched movies. No doubt, Forrest Gump has made it’s mark as a marvel of a film and will remain a great icon of the American film industry even in the years to come.

TRIVIA:

– Tom Hanks was not paid for this film. Instead, he took percentage points which ultimately netted him in the region of forty million dollars.

– With every transition of Forrest’s age, one thing remains the same. In the first scene of each transition, he wears a blue plaid shirt.

– During the ping-pong matches, there was no ball; it was entirely CGI, animated to meet the actors’ paddles.

– Bill Murray, John Travolta and Chevy Chase turned down the role of Forrest Gump. Travolta later admitted that passing on the role was a mistake.

– The line, “My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump,” was ad libbed by Tom Hanks while filming the scene, and director Robert Zemeckis liked it so much that he decided to keep it in.

AVERAGE RATING: 4.47

By: Nah Min Ning

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