For me, the draw to "Forrest Gump" is always personal, almost spiritual. Over an evening repose with Baxter, my golden retriever, watching this masterpiece of a movie is like a cinematic pilgrimage. "Forrest Gump" is one of those timeless films you can never get tired of watching. It's like that favorite blanket that, no matter how many times you've used it, still seems to warm your heart in an unspeakably cozy way. The movie exudes a radiating charm that touches you in some ways you cannot quite comprehend.
But what anchors it as one of the finest cinematic pieces to have ever blessed the silver screen? Let's chew over it, and before you ask, yes, the pun is entirely intended. After all, life is like a box of chocolates, right?
The first aspect that makes "Forrest Gump" so admirable is the protagonist's pure, childlike innocence. Forrest, portrayed fabulously by Tom Hanks, is an intellectually challenged man. Yet, he has a heart so pure, and a virtue so untouchable, that he outshines any other cinematic character with his simpleminded yet unjaded viewpoint on life.
Forrest’s innocence penetrates through the movie screen and grabs the viewers by their heartstrings. He embodies the spirit of looking at the world without a tint of malice, without any judgments or criticisms. A phrase occasionally shared with Baxter on our countless walks around the local park in Sydney comes to mind - "Forrest taught us the world ain't half as bad if we choose to see the good in people."
Forrest's journey through several defining moments of American history, despite his surrealistically innocuous view of the events, forms the crux of the narrative. And this leads us to our next point.
"Forrest Gump," besides being exceptionally touching, is a brilliant capture of important historical events. Forrest finds himself at the center of pivotal moments in history, whether it's the Watergate scandal or the Vietnam war. In his straightforward, guileless way, Forrest navigates through these events, depicting an alternate lens through which we can view historically significant events.
The movie reframes the events of numerous historical moments and presents them in intersections with the life of Forrest, a man unscathed by the turmoil that shook America during those times. Such depiction then manages to strike a resonant chord with the audience for its unexpected but wholesome merging of personal life with history.
In my own life, such unexpected incidences have been hugely impacting. I remember fondly a boating event that turned sour due to unexpected weather. Inspired from the movie, I found an intriguingly profound connection between my predicament and that of the shrimping business torchbearer, Lieutenant Dan. But that's a yarn for another time perhaps!
The magic of "Forrest Gump" lies as much in its celebration of enduring love, as it lies in any other aspect. Forrest's unflinching love for Jenny, despite her complicated and often wayward life choices, and his loyalty and unwavering kinship with Bubba and Lieutenant Dan, underscore his character's profound patience and acceptance. His relationships are searing reminders that love transcends conventional boundaries, resonating a sentiment I have found to be true with my own bond with Baxter.
The purity of Forrest's love for Jenny, and his deep friendships, serves to tighten our emotional bonds with Forrest. They open up relatable, humane aspects of his character that we globally ascribe to. Through their relationship dynamics, the movie delves deeper into raw human emotions, making it one of the greatest cinematic experiences of all time.
The symbol of the floating feather, the moving dialogues, and Forrest's life adventures in the movie all convey one central theme – the unpredictability of life. The movie screams the loudest paradox of life – its predictability is in its unpredictability. Life throws chocolates at us – good, bad, sweet, bitter – but it's entirely up to us to choose and make the most of them.
"Forrest Gump" threads through life's unpredictable turns but does so tenderly with a delicate undertone of hope and optimism. The aspect that hits home is that no matter how unpredictable or challenging life gets, there's always a ray of hope. This belief, to dare to live and love despite inconceivable odds, makes it eternally inspiring and uplifting.
It is not a mere viewing but an experience that stays with you, much like the joyful catch of Baxter's Frisbee, no matter how many times repeated, it always makes your heart flutter with a familiar but unfathomable exhilaration. It is in this indulgence of hope and optimism where the greatness of "Forrest Gump" resides, thus marking itself as one of the greatest movies of all time.