July 20, 1994 -- ``Forrest Gump'' is everything that ``True Lies'' isn't. It has sensitivity, honesty, realism, tragedy, heartwarming humor and has something substantial to say about the human condition. It was billed as being about the things that make America great. It really is.
Starring Tom Hanks as the title character, it is a fable about a simple man who is thrust into key moments of history as he grows up in the 1960s and 1970s.
Gump, mildly retarded, is naive, but knows the difference between right and wrong. He also knows what love is. He walks the straight and narrow, while everyone around him goes spinning off in various directions on those turbulent times.
The theme of the film is an exploration of the well-known philosophical dichotomy between free-will and predestination. Gump decides life contains elements of both, but the story is so far-fetched its hard to make a case for either viewpoint.
The good-natured humor is wonderful in the film, but the thing that makes it so entertaining is how it hits all the human emotions dead-center without resorting to cheap melodrama. The film earns every laugh and every tear honestly.
Hanks is great and Gary Sinise (``Of Mice and Men'') is wonderful as a soldier who thinks it is his destiny to die in the Vietnam War. Sally Field turns in her finest performance in years as Gump's mother. Robin Wright is excellent as Jenny, Gump's girlfriend.
This is a great American film, it rates an A.
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