In the last decades, raising places, moments or historical facts to the level of importance of the protagonists has been a strong creative trend. Syriana and Intimate Sins, among others, are just a few recent examples. In Forrest Gump, from 1994, the resource goes to the limit and even surpasses the protagonist, however in a subtle way. Contrary to what happens in Intimate Sins, it is not a reflection of a community, but of an entire nation that emerges with its way of being, living, relating and influencing others, watch now the movie and learn how.
Thus, the main character is not Forrest, but America, its exaggerated paternalism, its dominant ideology barely disguised in proud historical heroism. Forrest is all of us, some with sweetness, others with some rebellion or non-conformity. America, or more exactly that part of the American territory known as the United States, born from the echoes of the 18th century Enlightenment, in the light of reason, accepted to believe so much in its own greatness and importance to the point of intending to turn each of us into Forrests Gumps, lovely, peaceful and submissive beings in the service of your ideals and system.
The camera that flies over American soil finds its emblematic icon in Tom Hanks's Forrest and follows it to transform itself into the very ode to innocence, preaching that beauty is in the eye of the beholder (and not just in the eyes). In fact, it is reborn every day, or every night, in those who make contact with messages that they cannot interpret, but that receive them as part of their reality, without objections.
The instruments for forging Forrests Gumps are so many that they practically include all of our institutions and or media, including cinema. The big knot is that seeing poetry and beauty (or simply not seeing) does not exclude from human reality the trails of destruction that men have left behind them throughout its history, such as the Vietnam War or even what is negative about counter-culture manifested in the 1960s, watch online the film and see how greatly it represented this era.
If it is true that the United States is aiming for world leadership, it is also true that it does not cease to follow the buzzword “blind leading the blind”. What is sad about Forrest Gump is the inversion of values that cinema can provide as if to say the opposite. Formula: develop a friendly, pure and innocent character and show him parading naive and carefree amid historical and or personal situations, shown superficially. Here is the cake recipe to highlight the greatness of the North American trajectory and its values! It works for the actor's charisma and the beauty of the character's innocence.
Historical mistakes or successes, communicational bias, government manipulations, ideologies or obscure objectives, are mere details in the face of a show so well orchestrated by Robert Zemeckis. But there is nothing genius about it, since the dubiousness of media messages had already been opened up by Orson Welles' peraltices, long before Eric Roth synthesized his character and wrote his script. There is no one in cinema who does not know what he does and for what reason.
But Forrest Gump can also be a bad movie for bad connoisseurs, as everyone interprets it with the information at their disposal and the cute veil with which the whole film is covered more alien than it clarifies (and its purpose is not even clarifying), although it never ceases to be a tip of the iceberg that onlookers will want to see better. Anyway, the film entertains without sleep, although I consider it a bit long.
What causes me some discomfort is precisely to see the cinematographic technique used in a way that sounds somewhat hypocritical, considering the current world situation and the North American role in this great tragedy. It looks like the United States (and let's not confuse rulers with people) clapping for themselves. And then, momentarily, the roles are reversed and naive become them, the owners of power. So, do you find them adorable?