'Forest Gump' is back on the big screen to celebrate it's 20th anniversary. Considered one of the top 100 films of all time, it's hitting the Imax theater with new technology. It's playing for one week only starting on a potentially sluggish weekend.
"You have to do the best with what God gave you," says Mrs. Gump. Never realizing just how far her son, Forrest would go. With only an IQ of 75, Forrest goes to prove to his Momma and all of America that disabilities don't have to hold one down. In this modern day version of a fairytale, Tom Hanks accurately mimics a mentally challenged person (Forrest Gump). He convinces audiences that he has a disability through his line delivery, speaking in a slow choppy southern drawl, a sound rather uncomfortable to the ear. Unfortunately we hear this speech quite often as Forrest (Hanks) voices over the entire film, telling his inspirational, somewhat unrealistic life story. In the 1950's Forrest Gump's story begins. He's a child growing up in Southern Georgia, set apart from other children because of his need to wear leg braces. His mother pushes him, never allowing him to believe he is different from anyone else. Although it occurs naturally throughout the film, Forrest's ability to influence history while remarkable, is quite obviously an overextension of reality. From teaching Elvis his first dance moves as a child to winning a football scholarship at the University of Alabama. Gump continues to marvel as he pushes across barriers that people don't believe possible for someone "like him". While some may criticize the exaggeration it was intentional by the director, transforming the screenplay into a modern day fairytale. Allowing Forrest to go above and beyond what is capable in real life to plant hope and inspiration to the audience.
Another achievement Forrest adds to his list is a war hero in Vietnam. Despite the films main goal being the message not visuals director Robert Zemeckis, a special effects whiz took advantage of the scenes in Vietnam. Down pouring rain, hot wet rain forests, and huge explosions that lite up the screen. Thus turning this family movie into pure action and creating a life like war zone. Later on he demonstrates his vision and the special effects teams' skill by displaying an injury that takes place in the previous war scene. Lieutenant Dan Taylor (played by Gary Sims) suffers a realistic double leg amputee.
Forrest doesn't stop at war hero though, he continues to amaze. He runs literally across the entire country for therapeutic relief and opens a successful business which turns Forrest into a millionaire. Here the screenplay continues to emphasize how important morals are through Forrest, that despite his good fortune he continues to portray the definition of a good friend and human being. As the film develops so do Forrest's feelings for Jenny his childhood friend. Here Hanks continues to impress by his complex emotional appeal. Forrest is slow but not unemotional, therefore when Hank expresses his love for Jenny his feelings are somewhat naive and abrupt. Hanks makes the audience believe that Forrest simply feels love, and does not understand the multitude of reasons behind why he and Jenny will never work out. The tale of Forrest Gump may be far-fetched, but in 2 hours and 22 minutes Hanks and Zemeckis do an excellent job of pulling audiences heart strings, reiterating important values that seem too often forgotten.