Movie Review: Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump

“My name’s Forrest, Forrest Gump.”

And after that introduction, Forrest Gump- while waiting on a bus begins to inadvertently tell his life story to whoever will listen while sitting on a bench. He recounts his childhood, war experience, business endeavors, and social events. Amazingly, he has been part of every major event of the mid 1900s. As he recounts those memories, we are told through the mind of a simple man, just what life is.

Things I Liked

Mama always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them. ~Forrest Gump~

Forrest Gump teaches us many beneficial lessons about life through the course of one reoccurring line “My mama always said…” Forrest’s mother always believed him to be a normal kid, and loved him immensely. She was always there for him, and imparted immense amounts of deep wisdom in an incredibly simple way. “You’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.” Dying is a part of life.” “They was magic shoes. They could take me anywhere.” “God is mysterious.”

All of these quotes point to a greater lesson. Moving on, accepting what you can’t change, determination of a choice, and more. We learn complicated things in life don’t have to be complicated. Forrest learns this better than anyone.

Forrest has a best friend- Jenny. He loves her throughout the entire movie regardless of what she does to him. When she leaves, manipulates, or disregards his friendship- he always is right there with open arms to welcome her back. When she lives a life of depravity, we see it in a reviling fashion- and intentionally so. Forrest always winds up being there to protect her somehow. In the end, when Jenny rejects him for the hundredth time, he tells her this:

“I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is.”

Above everything else in this movie, we truly do see what love is. Forrest loves everyone unconditionally. Some say it is “Well he is to stupid to know any better.” and how sad that is. Forrest may not have the best IQ, but he does indeed know what love is, and displays it numerous times in a heart touching manner.

Forrest eventually becomes incredibly rich, and his heart is on of generosity. “And so then I got a call from him saying we don’t have to worry about money no more. And I said “That’s good. One less thing.” Now, Momma said there’s only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off. So, I gave a whole bunch of it…” We see Forrest, again under the direction of his mother, give away millions and millions of dollars. And then he takes a job for free, because he liked to work.

Things I Didn’t Like

When Forrest is in the military, his squad is attacked by the enemy, and we see several men blown to bits via mortars, and others bloody and wounded. Later, when some are in the hospital, some had amputations, stitches, etc. Forrest gets a bullet wound to “The Buttox” (as he says) and when a man jokingly asks to see it, Forrest takes him seriously and shows him.

Jenny, Forrest’s best friend, lives a life of depravity, and at times, tries to pull Forrest into it. She does so one night by undressing before Forrest. The camera stay’s on Mr. Gump for the most part, but we do see her in lingerie. Forrest’s reaction is one of confused disgust. Jenny is also shown playing a guitar at a club lacking appropriate clothing, and again, the camera (and guitar) hide what shouldn’t be seen. We see Jenny also take drugs, making out in a car, and thinking about committing suicide. One night years later, she gets Forrest to sleep with her, and then she leaves the morning after. We also learn Jenny was molested as a child by her father.

There are numerous curse words when forrest is in the Army. And at a rally in the nation’s Capital, Forrest tells us “The announcer just loved to use the F- word. F- This! F- that! Well, that’s what he would say…” The Lord’s and Christ’s name is taken in vain. A young group of people are called the N- word when they are brought into a college for the first time.

Closing Thoughts

 I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time. ~Forrest Gump~

Forrest Gump tells the story of a man who, while mentally challenged, has one of the biggest hearts around.  The simpleness and innocence of Forrest’s thoughts are not only excellent to behold, but much to think upon. We watch as he explores America while in a way, seeing America lose her innocence. Mama’s many straightforward lessons hold true even to this day- Lessons of time management, love,  death, and facing life with the right attitude.

The sinful content, to be honest, is something to be wary of. I was very impressed that at no time any of the sinful lifestyles shown were condoned or show to be appealing.  That each immoral decision resulted in an undesired consequence. Keep in mind though- the content shown definitely has a propensity to make one sin in viewing the movie if they are affected in the aforementioned areas.

Forrest Gump is a simple man who simply lives life as it comes to him. He is troubled by not knowing whether or not he is destined to do something, but he is sure there is someone in charge. At one point, a soldier mockingly asks “Have you found Jesus yet Forrest?” and Forrest replies “I didn’t know I was supposed to be looking for Him. Later in the movie we hear Forrest comments he knows he is going to heaven after we watch him attend a church for several years. Granted he never says he did find Christ, but the potential is there in this film.

That really brings me to the last thoughts about this movie. I’ve heard so much about it, how complicated so many themes are, what does the feather mean?, etc etc. I think though, those people are missing the point- like I almost did. I started breaking down metaphors of metaphors. And then I realized. This film is about showing that life really is a box of Chocolates, you may think you are going to do one thing, but wind up doing another. but it all winds up fitting perfectly in your box (which had to be made). Some are good, some are bad, and some are those discusting coconut ones… From a Christian perspective, we are reminded of Proverbs 16:9, and that it is OK to not know what you are going to get.

A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. ~Proverbs 16:9~

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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