They say “life is like a box of chocolates” and that “you really don’t know what you’re going to get.” That statement cannot be any truer for Forrest Gump.

Jogging across America, owning a major shrimping company, fighting in Vietnam and being an American Ping Pong champion are experiences in the movie that gave Forrest the life we could only dream of.

The 1994 film has done a lot more than just entertain us; the Academy Award winner for Best Picture has warmed our hearts for 17 years.

The inspirational film, directed by Robert Zemeckis, opens to the iconic scene of Tom Hanks as Forrest sitting on a bench and waiting for his bus. As he waits, this simple man, with an IQ of a mere 75, nonchalantly shares his extraordinary life stories with those at the bus stop. Forrest begins talking about his upbringing with his mother, played by Sally Fields, and about the unfortunate attention his leg braces drew from the local bullies. He outruns the bullies, breaks through the braces and makes his way onto the field where he becomes an All-American college football player.

After his football years, he wins the Medal of Honor after serving in the Vietnam War, and then becomes a millionaire through the shrimping business.

Yet all of Forrest’s accomplishments don’t mean a lot to him, mainly because he simply stumbles upon most of them. The only thing Forrest ever cared about was his true love, Jenny, played by Robin Wright.

Jenny’s self-destructive behavior is no match for sweet-hearted Forrest, and before the relationship develops she runs away. Forrest meets Jenny multiple times during the movie. Each time her behavior is worse than the last, but to Forrest, Jenny can do no wrong.

The movie ultimately gives false hope about the kindness of strangers at a bus stop. Yet, when people watch the beloved movie for the first time, or the 61st time, the movie always seems to bring a lot of laughs, shocks and tears.

The movie successfully includes several major historical events in America from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. Segregation, the Vietnam War, the Counterculture Movement and the Watergate Scandal; are events the movie accurately depicts. With Forrest Gump as the guide, the audience gets to experience the events from a nonbiased perspective.

Many of Robert Zemeckis’ films deal with history, and his involvement in Forrest Gump is no different. One of Robert Zemeckis’ most famous film series is Back to the Future, the science fiction comedy in which Michael J. Fox travel through time, from the American Old West to the 1950’s. The movie gives the audience a humorous recollection of how people once lived.

Although the time frame of Forrest Gump took place not too long ago, the film lets the viewer live, or relive, in one of the most exciting times in American history.

You can catch Forrest Gump during the Bijou’s Free Movie Thursday. Every Thursday, the Bijou plays a classic film, free. On Sept. 22, Forrest Gump will be shown at 7:00 p.m. A free showing of one of the greatest films in American history is an offer you can’t refuse.

 

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