Thursday, September 27, 2012

Forrest Gump

The Academy Award for Best Picture is an award that is sought after by everyone in the film industry.  Over the years it has gained a certain nostalgia that associates its winners in a very unique.  A film that wins this award tends to be one that pays attention to the details and does not cut corners.  Forrest Gump is one of those films.  The film tells the story of the title character in such a way as to draw the audience and create a special bond with Forrest.  A unique characteristic of the film is the way that the author inserts Forrest into monumental events that occurred throughout the twentieth century.  The impressive thing about this is that the production crew does it so seamlessly.
            Forrest Gump appeals to pathos and logos in a way that is unlike most films.  In making the movie, the producers used famous historical footage and digital placed Tom Hanks in the background so as to connect his character to people on a very personal level.  One of the first events in which Forrest is placed is playing football for Paul “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama.  The film has footage of the University’s stadium with directions for Forrest when he reaches the end zone spelled out in the crowd.  Additionally, the film features such film tricks as having Forrest shake hands with the President of the United State and helping the first black students to attend the Little Rock Central High School.  To me, placing Forrest in such monumental events teaches you a lot about Forrest and how he is oblivious to what is happening around him and just strives to be a nice guy.  This is a excellent device that does not attempt to stretch the limits of the available technology, a growing trend that has resulted in “soulless movies full of sound and fury signifying nothing: pointless chases, explosions, gratuitous violence, explosions, lots of speed, explosions, and just for good measure, more explosions” (35).  Forrest Gump uses special effects to affirm the authenticity of the film. 
 One of the best ways that the film uses special effects is the way in which Forrest is incorporated into the Vietnam War.  In one particular scene during this part of the film, Forrest’s superior, Lieutenant Dan, is the victim of an enemy explosion and loses his legs.  The film uses the fact that Lieutenant Dan does not have legs to have the audience react to his charter with sympathetic emotions, though his charter would never desire sympathy.  Because his character is presented with such authenticity, the audience connects with Lieutenant Dan on a deeper level and understands his struggle.  If his character was not presented with such a believable appearance in the film, I don’t feel that this device would be nearly as effect.   Forrest Gump is an excellent film that has an incredible attention to detail apparent throughout the film.  The film uses special effects to achieve this attention to detail and thus further assure the audience of the film’s authenticity. 

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