Movies I Should’ve Watched Sooner: Forrest Gump

Ok, I’m going to admit something right off the bat. I cannot stand Forrest Gump! This is a bit different for me to write about because I actually watched it for the first time about 8 years ago, however over the last couple of weeks I’ve heard a lot of people talking about how much they love Forerst Gump as a movie. I’m sorry but as a movie, Forrest Gump is, in my opinion, a god awful mess! 

Now before you grab your pitchforks, hear me out. Tom Hanks is without doubt one of the greatest actors of the last 30 years. I have genuinely struggled to think of any shocking performances of his throughout any of these years. Forrest Gump does not break this tradition. Which in a nutshell is my point. Forrest Gump is considered great because Tom Hanks shines brighter than he has necessarily done so before and since this Oscar Winning movie. However as a movie, Forrest Gump is a mess. 

Now, my reason for writing about it in the Movies I Should’ve Watched Sooner category is because I sincerely wish I’d have watched it as a mindless child that had no point of reference beforehand. However, as a cynical 18 year old I entered in to this film under the pretends that Forrest Gump is going to blow my mind, this did not happen. 

Without going in to too much detail, my main grievance with this film is that it has nothing to say about anything relevant to me or my family. Forrest aimlessly walks (and runs, but that’s a completely different rant) his way through these exceptional circumstances, overcoming insurmountable odds to meet such famous figures as President John F. Kennedy. What frustrates me the most is that there is no emotional payoff to any of this “epic” journey. 

Throughout the film, Forrest has survived Polio, War and Chess tournaments to become a globally recognisable icon, what does he do to cap this off? He gets emotionally abused by the woman who has slept around since the 70s that has only now decided to be with our loveable protagonist. That’s right, I’m talking Jenny. Her blatant disregard for his mental health and absolutely shocking treatment of his wellbeing before now made me so mad that I couldn’t believe anyone had told me they had enjoyed it as much as they did. 

To me, Forrest Gump felt more like an exploitation of the mentally handicapped than a celebration of the extravaganza that is his life. Forrest is belittled and undermined throughout this film, even those that sit on the bench with him during his monologues seem uncomfortable to be there. Why? What is the harm in humouring this fascinating person? 

I’m sure there are people out there that have compelling arguments as to why Forrest Gump is one of the best films ever made. But personally I didn’t see it. I honestly think that if I’d have watched it a lot sooner then yeah I’d probably see your way of thinking. But instead, I see nothing more than 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back. Yeah sure it’s got some memeorable quotes, but I cannot think of one time where I felt uplifted, enlightened or anything other than forlorn throughout.

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