Throughout our childhood, we were taught that history is made by those who possess extraordinary intelligence, extraordinary power, and seem to be born to live out an extraordinary destiny. Our role models are seemingly invincible, untouchable figures, often worshipped and remembered in the people’s imagination as demigods. But seldom do we find heroes in popular culture who touch the deepest strings of one’s heart through their heart-warming and humble life story, and an equally awe-inspiring world view.
Forrest Gump, the protagonist of Forrest Gump, is the epitome of simplicity and a character who rarely appears on the big screen, especially since he first graced the world with his presence in 1994, in an era dominated by James Bonds and John McCLanes, who were celebrated for their macho appeal. However, Forrest is a character with such soul that he is impossible to forget, serving as a true inspiration to face life with an indomitable spirit.
Often one finds oneself trying to seamlessly drift through time, and our lives are hardly as interesting as the movies we see on the big screen, and yet here was a film staying true to the battles within. It did not adhere to the cinematic glory that we revel in for our movie escapades, in the process echoing the true sentiments of an average citizen.
Forrest’s journey from a young mama’s boy who is relentlessly bullied to a man determined to serve his country, from a selfless lover to a brave war veteran who looks at the bright side of life, to a grieving son and a doting father, is one of exceptional grit and tugs at something so humane within every living being, filling us with fresh new hope for good times to come.
Gump is also an inspiring figure in love. Often one is afraid to fall headfirst into human passions, and express feelings for a person with the kind of touching simplicity displayed by Forrest. In his own endearing words, “I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.” What better figure to seek motivation from, to make the leap to living a life true to oneself, than Forrest, who unconditionally loves Jenny through all the ups and downs of life, and sees right through her broken soul, in turn creating a timeless benchmark for baring one’s soul for the whole world to see?
The famous line “You have to do the best with what God gave you” was indeed true for Gump, and a testament to how he rose to every occasion and made everything around him better by simply being there for the people who mattered in his life, filling them with courage and hope to face the world. A great example of the same was Lt. Dan who grows to become incredibly fond of Gump and later even starts enjoying his life, which replaces his initial resentment at becoming an amputee due to his Vietnam War Service. This is thanks to Forrest’s unconditional support, perhaps a great metaphor for how he uplifts the viewer, filling us with a rare warmth. And hence ‘Run Forrest Run’ is a befitting catchphrase, as we witness Forrest run away to glory, as he treads the road to greatness, and forges a new path, making it to straight to our hearts forever!
Disclaimer: This article has not been written by Film Companion’s editorial team.