Forrest Gump’s cinematography is rich with elements that allow viewers to better grasp the characters in the film and the plot. Characters and their personalities are important to the plot development. Special effects give the impression that Forrest is involved in history. Both the comedy and plot development are enhanced by the dialogue. The screenplay was excellent, and Lieutenant Dan’s special effects were almost revolutionary. Zemeckis’s mastery over the screenplay can be best seen in the way he transforms the movie, from an optimistic beginning to one with a dark end. Zemeckis was hoping to create a hero for Americans in Forrest. Forrest Gump makes use of cinematography, film techniques, and other film elements to reveal the feelings of the characters and develop the plot.

Forrest Gump’s plot is unorthodox. Forrest Gump is the only constant in the story. The rest is constantly changing. A biopic is a movie that tells the story of a particular character. This is Forrest’s story in its entirety, which gives the viewer an intimate connection with his character. Forrest is explained in detail for the first couple of hours. For the last 14 minutes of the movie, we suddenly see the events as they unfolded. (Villela 1) Forrest, an innocent and honest man, stumbles into the history books and holds his head high in spite of torment and hardship. It is also a story about America. “We follow the adulthood of his character from Vietnam, to the Reagan years, to the beginnings AIDS. He stumbles from historical moment to historic moment.” (Villela 1). Jenny’s life is turbulent and she struggles to find her identity. This can make it difficult for an audience to relate to her. “Jenny, for the average audience, is more difficult to understand. She’s only shown in brief flashes or in dialogue. And her motives become clouded. But they’re still there.” (Villela 1 ). Lieutenant Dan represents America’s struggle during the Vietnam War. Mama is Forrest’s mom, she may not be a perfect parent, but he still loves her. The film makes use of revolutionary special effects for depicting historical characters and assassinations. These gave viewers a clear idea of the time in which the film was shot. “Nathan Bedford Forrest” is a Civil War Lieutenant-General and KKK member. A distant relative of Forrest shows that we don’t have to be prisoner of the past. Elvis, John Lennon and JFK are also shown, but in a slightly exaggerated manner. Lyndon Johnson is also seen, as well as RFK and Nixon. Both the editing and dialogue add to the humor and emotion in the movie. The film uses editing to bring humor to otherwise depressing scenes. Forrest’s mom tells him, “You’re no different.” Then the cut to the principal says “The Boy’s Different, Mrs. Gump.”

The screenplay of Eric Roth is complex, but not formulaic. Tom Hanks was the only actor that could have accurately portrayed Forrest’s feelings. “I’ve seen movies like Forrest Gump and never seen anyone as like Forrest Gump. The movie will appear conventional if you describe him. Hanks’ portrayal of Gump is so impressive. Forrest’s unique character attracts the audience in a strange way, making them even more identifiable with him. Robert Zemeckis, a director with a strong background in special effects, is able to put Forrest into historical scenarios that seem real. “In an incredibly realistic sequence, Forrest speaks at a peace rally from the Vietnam era on the Mall of Washington.” (Ebert 1, p. The revolutionary special effects used in this film are also used to help Lieutenant Dan recover from his leg loss.

Forrest Gump’s changing moods are another important aspect. The film initially appears as a happy and optimistic journey through the baby-boom years, but soon turns into a dark and driven piece, haunted and plagued by violence. Zemeckis has a unique ability to capture both moods and emotions in one shot or scene. Robert Zemeckis, director of the film “The Big Lebowski”, combines his mastery in wide-screen compositions and camera movement into a moving and original experience. Zemeckis’s worldview is unique and in the tradition Alfred Hitchcocks, John Fords and other Hollywood legends. Forrest Gump is a product of these beliefs and tendencies. Zemeckis’s vision of America is a vulgar and beautiful place, which is the opposite of what we see in our society. Zemeckis, for example, depicts the brutality of war and bullying at school in a way that is both beautiful and grotesque. He also captures the love and harmony between Forrest and Jenny and shows how peaceful protests can be. Forrest has a natural ability to be free while Jenny remains trapped. Forrest discovers the gift of speed by breaking free of his leg-braces. Jenny is stuck in a spiral that includes drug abuse, alcoholism, and sex. Tom Hanks is a standout in the film’s war scenes. He shows emotion when saving Lieutenant Dan. Zemeckis depictions of dystopian America are not limited to the Vietnam War. His rural South scenes can be gruesome. Forrest’s estate is lush and green, while Jenny’s childhood home is a shack with a miserable father. Zemeckis created two worlds that express his views on American society.

Tom Hanks’s nomination for the 1994 Academy Award was a result of his ability to play Forrest without overacting. Zemeckis’ Forrest is placed in a vivid historic context. For example, he talks to JFK as well as LBJ and Nixon. Forrest has all the qualities we love in an American hero. But the irony is that no one is able to stay with him for too long, even Jenny, his true love. Zemeckis was aiming to use Forrest as a parody of the way Americans should behave. Zemeckis also wanted his audience to emulate Forrest’s ability to hope. It’s ambitious in an age of rampant, cynical cynicism.”

Forrest Gump has many revolutionary qualities. Forrest Gump’s plot is greatly influenced by the character casting (especially Tom Hanks). Special effects make Forrest seem like he is part of the history when he’s surrounded by President Johnson or Elvis. The editing and dialogue add to both the plot and comedy. The screenplay and special effects used on Lieutenant Dan’s leg are of a high standard, and they show the horrors of the Vietnam War. Zemeckis’s mastery is most evident in the way he can use his understanding of the world and camera expertise to change the movie from an optimistic, happy start to a dark end. Zemeckis was hoping to create a hero for Americans in Forrest. Forrest Gump’s greatness is due to Zemeckis. His mastery as a filmmaker paints a picture of an America that is both satirical and affects his audiences.


  • noahtaylor

    Noah Taylor is a bloger, teacher, and writer living in upstate New York. He is the author of the highly successful educational blog, Noah's World, and the creator of the popular teacher resource, Noah's Notes. He has also written for many online publications, including Parenting, The Huffington Post, and The Learning Place. Noah is a graduate of Williams College and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.