Reasons for Why 'Forrest Gump' Is One of the Most Popular and Iconic

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‘Forrest Gump’ is a movie that follows the life events on an underrated and underappreciated man that suffers from not only a low IQ, but also mild case of cerebral palsy. Throughout his life, Gump faces many burdens and tribulations, but he never allows anyone to interfere with his happiness and mental well-being. Gump, despite facing many problems, continues to believe that good things will happen and goes after his hopes, dreams, and ambitions. From wearing braces on his legs and having a lower IQ to being an American hero, icon, and eventually loving father. The movie won six of the thirteen Oscars they were nominated for, and I believe this has to do with three main reasons: the message the movie portrays, how well the cast fits and portrays the roles they played, and the overall cinematography and camera work of the movie.

The cast of ‘Forrest Gump’ is one of the many reasons that make this movie a historic icon that everyone has seen. Tom Hanks is the only actor that could have played Forrest Gump, after seeing how Hanks portrays Gump as a person so dignified, and so straight-headed, you can't reimagine anyone else that could fill this role. Hanks’ performance is a breathtaking balance between comedy and drama, in a story rich with laughter and tears. The choice in cast is an important factor in creating a great movie, which is why the Oscars have multiple awards dedicated to just the cast of the movie. Tom Hanks does a fantastic job at bringing the character to life, which is proven by him winning the Oscar for Best Lead Actor. Another great actor for his role, was Gary Sinise. He played Lieutenant Dan. Gary brought his character to life, he portrays Lieutenant Dan as a psychopathic man with no regard for his own well-being and life. Mr. Sinise also does a phenomenal job at showing the characters development over time, by portraying him as a man with a will to live and a purpose to his life. It would be difficult, but definitely possible, to replace Gary Sinise as Lieutenant Dan in the movie. He fits the role almost perfectly, but I could definitely see a few other actors as Lieutenant Dan. Gary Sinise was indeed nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, but did not win. Therefore, Gary Sinise must adequately portray Lieutenant Dan.

In 1994, when ‘Forrest Gump’ topped the box office and had six Oscar nominations, the film communicated messages of traditional values such as patriotism, capitalism and family ties. Whereas now the movie serves as a reminder to never give up when you end up bringing bad circumstances. This is shown in many parts of the movie, from where Forest gets leg braces and ends up being one of the best runners in the world, to where he gets hospitalized and ends up becoming a prominent figure in ping-pong politics, to when getting stuck at sea ends up making him the only and thus far richest shrimping boat company in the world. Many of these acts can be seen as heroic and patriotic, but you could also view his actions as just plain ignorance of danger and a coincidence.

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Another message many people believe this movie shares is that it pokes fun of the mentally challenged. This is a completely understandable belief. This message can be shown in scenes like the one where Forrest’ mom sleeps with the principal to allow her son to go to school. This can be interpreted in a way that says mentally challenged people can’t go to school. This along with numerous scenes of Forrest getting bullied by other students, and the hateful remarks and inappropriate staring from members of the town, come together to form an overall feeling of isolation and rejection. If a person with similar conditions to Forrest where to watch this film, instead of serving as an inspiration to them, it could push them into a deep depression. Seeing that the hurtful glares and remarks don’t eventually subside can really take an emotional toll on a person. I feel like the director and the screenplay writer did not adequately address this message that is portrayed, even if it is not intentional.

This movie takes place in many different scenes, towns, and countries. From being in the Vietnamese forest during a raging storm, to sitting on a quiet park bench. These scenes are portrayed in a very realistic way the gives the viewer a sense of realism and immersion. The jungle scene is full of greenery a foliage, with large sinkholes and rivers throughout the land. This scene and many others like it help the film share its messages and immerses the audience in the dangers and struggles Forrest was forced to endure. The effectiveness of sharing the films messages relies greatly on how well the audience gets pulled in and feels what is happening, like they are the main character facing these emotional battles, rather than just watching it like an innocent bystander, this is where the cinematography works. Don Burgess was the cinematographer for this movie and the man we can thank for taking us back to a childhood full of bullying, a soldier in the Vietnam War, and a husband/spouse that loses their soul mate to a deadly disease. Many other people agree with the idea that ‘Forrest Gump’, as an overall film, does a phenomenal job at immersing the audience, it is no wonder ‘Forrest Gump’ received the Oscar for Best Picture, and was nominated for Best Cinematography.

All in all, ‘Forrest Gump’ is a heartwarming tearjerker about a guy whose big heart more than makes up for his low IQ. It’s also a story of how success has a way of finding the good and bypassing the evil. These are the reasons that ‘Forrest Gump’ is one of the most popular and most iconic.

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Reasons for Why ‘Forrest Gump’ Is One of the Most Popular and Iconic. (2023, January 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/reasons-for-why-forrest-gump-is-one-of-the-most-popular-and-iconic/
“Reasons for Why ‘Forrest Gump’ Is One of the Most Popular and Iconic.” Edubirdie, 31 Jan. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/reasons-for-why-forrest-gump-is-one-of-the-most-popular-and-iconic/
Reasons for Why ‘Forrest Gump’ Is One of the Most Popular and Iconic. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/reasons-for-why-forrest-gump-is-one-of-the-most-popular-and-iconic/> [Accessed 26 May 2024].
Reasons for Why ‘Forrest Gump’ Is One of the Most Popular and Iconic [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Jan 31 [cited 2024 May 26]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/reasons-for-why-forrest-gump-is-one-of-the-most-popular-and-iconic/
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