“My Name is Forrest, Forrest Gump”

Forrest Gump is an iconic representative film of American history and value. When I first saw this movie, I couldn’t help but to love it! The movie’s plot is enriched by so many themes and historical events that make for a very interesting film. Forrest, as the main character, serves as the connection between all of the random events, people, and places included in the film. The Vietnam War, Alabama, segregation, The Kennedys, college football, Richard Nixon, Elvis Presley, family, ping-pong, Ronald Reagan, drugs, flower power, love, John Lennon, and many more come together to create “the ultimate American dream in a land of opportunity” represented by Forrest Gump (Walker). Sue Walker talks about how this movie transmits both positive messages and negative messages. I think what makes this a magical movie is the fact that most—if not all— Americans can relate to at least one of its messages about life, either positive or negative.

Forrest Gump is referred by some as a “common man,” or “a celebration of stupidity” (Stevens). I thinks his character is more than these two denomination combined. Forrest is a character filled with innocence, love, hope, and strength that helps him achieve so many amazing things, and bring happiness to many people. He goes around life ignoring evil in the world, and taking the good out of every one of his experiences. Everything in his life seems to be happening by a perfect coincidence, or by what some people refer to as fate. To create some of the historical scenes in the movie, historical footage was used and adapted to fit Forrest into some of these shots. A lot of movie technology was challenged during the creation of these very real looking scenes. A very symbolic scene in the movie is the opening scene where a feather is followed as it flies down to blue sky and lands on Forrest’s feet. The scene looks very real because every little detail, including the shadows in every angle, was very well created.

I like how Scott Steven refers to Forrest Gump as a “phenomenon.” The movie was very popular when it was released, and even today we recognize iconic phrases from the movie like “Life is like a box of chocolates,” or “Run, Forrest, run!” It is interesting to learn that the movie is even regarded as an industry due to the very successful marketing associated with it. I think that the idea of selling a box of chocolates with the Forrest Gump movie was a very clever move. More than decade after being releases, Forrest Gump still very well known and still brings a smile into many faces. “The feel-good movie of 1994” got its recognition by winning six Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Sources:
Steven D Scott. (2001). “Like a box of chocolates”: Forrest Gump and postmodernism. Literature/Film Quarterly, 29(1), 23-31. Retrieved November 4, 2009, from Arts Module. (Document ID: 70548918).

Walker, Sue. “Forrest Gump.” St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Ed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. Vol. 2. Detroit: St. James Press, 2000. 140-141. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale. American University Bender Library. 4 Nov. 2009 .

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~ by rozeanafonseca on November 6, 2009.

2 Responses to ““My Name is Forrest, Forrest Gump””

  1. I certainly agree that “Forrest Gump” continues to be an influential movie. I wonder if this is because, although the film takes place in the US, the themes transcend time and location?
    Prof. Hendrick

  2. I found your discussion of Forrest Gump very intersting. I have never seen the film all the way through (though I’ve seen the last half more than once). The film never particularly appealed to me; I’m not a big Tom Hanks fan, which may be why I find it harder to relate to the protagonist than most people do. But I think you made some very good points about the movie and its impact, especially in your discussion of the technology in the movie, the marketing associated with it, and the idea of the American dream. I think you did a good job incorporating the analyses into your views on the film.

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