After watching a rerun of Forrest Gump today, I’ve realized that the movie has many hidden messages pertaining to success and happiness. As an avid movie watcher, I wanted to breakdown this movie a bit further for those who either have not watched the movie, or has another chance to watch a rerun since many networks replay this hit classic several times a month.
To me, the overriding purpose of this film is to influence viewers’ attitudes and behavior. The film shows audiences that people should not judge a book by its cover. For instance, although Forrest Gump was perceived to be an individual with very low intellectual capabilities, that did not stop him from being an excellent friend to those that knew, and understood him. A good example of this could be seen with his friendship with Bubba, a man that he met while enlisting in the Vietnam War. While most people harassed Forrest Gump because of his low IQ levels, Bubba treated him with the respect and trust that he deserves, regardless of Gump’s intellectual downfalls. This mutual trust and respect led Bubba to convincing Forrest to go into the shrimp business with him after the war was over. Unfortunately, the war ended up killing Bubba, but that did not stop Forrest Gump from fulfilling his promise to Bubba, thus the beginning of Bubba Gump’s shrimp business. With this in mind, people should treat others ethically, morally, and with the respect that they deserve, regardless of their perceived downfalls. As was evident with this film, even people of the lowest caliber, could end up achieving some of the most amazing feats that would astonish even the most hypocritical person. Therefore, people must learn not to be judgmental towards others, and to value diversity because everyone has a gift to offer to the world. In their own special way, these individuals could end up making a positive impact to those around them, such as the case with Forrest Gump.
The surface level subject of this film is to show audiences the adventures of a charmed simpleton with lower than average IQ, named Forrest Gump, who defies all odds by achieving some of the most amazing feats during a time of crisis in American history. For instance, while Forrest Gump had the intellectual capabilities that were mentally challenged, he was able to become a national ping-pong and football champion; served with honors in the Vietnam War; taught Elvis Presley how to dance; invested successfully in Apple Computers; and he even got Jenny, the girl of his dreams and they had a baby together. The deeper underlying subject, or theme, of the film was to show audiences that anything is possible if you believe in yourself, and work hard at achieving those goals. The film highlights that anyone, can achieve the American Dream since we live in the land of opportunity. All that is required is having hope, and believing in the endless possibilities of the human spirit. That no matter how grim things may seem, it is still possible to achieve those goals. In addition, the film also highlights the importance of relationships, valuing diversity, and how supportive relationships could assist in making a positive impact not only on a person’s life, but in society as well.
Given how the film ended, I consider the moral of the story about cherishing the moments that you have with your loved ones because life is short. That success and happiness is acquired through the process of accepting and experiencing the challenges in life, and with a little bit of luck, you can become the person that you’re destined to be. Everyone knows that life is short. Sometimes people do take others for granted, and by not appreciating the relationships that you currently have with others, there might be a time in the near future where it might be too late to let them know how you really feel. Although Forrest Gump always highlighted his love for Jenny, Jenny didn’t reciprocate the same level of love for Forrest until it was too late. Due to this, Forrest and Jenny were unable to spend too time together as a married couple before she passed away. In addition, I also believe that happiness is a state of mind. In order to truly be happy, people must accept who they are and work towards improving themselves by facing the challenges that are presented to them in life. Although luck does play a minor role in achieving success, people must position themselves through actions, to be there at the moment opportunities present themselves. Through these traits, people would be one step closer to the person that they are destined to be, thus achieving success and happiness in parallel.
So if you haven’t had a chance to watch this movie, I would recommend watching it when possible. Even if you’ve watched the movie, I would still recommend watching it again because people could learn a lot about success and happiness from Forrest Gump. Let me know your thoughts on the movie after you’ve watched it as I’m curious if you’ve seen the same hidden messages as I did. Personally, I enjoyed the movie more the second time around!