Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid.
This week’s artifact is Forrest Gump, starring Earth’s own Tom Hanks,
widely considered to be the poor man’s Jason Biggs.
Forrest Gump tells the story of a feather-collector named Forrest Forrest Gump,
"I'm Forrest, Forrest Gump."
who likes to bombard people with his life story for no apparent reason,
often not even noticing when his audience changes.
Although he is born a cyborg, his robotic implants soon fall apart, and he is able to pass as a human.
At human school, he meets a miniature female named Jenny.
He plays football, which is really easy and doesn’t require anything but running in a straight line.
After that, Forrest joins the Army on a whim. He saves everyone from getting exploded,
but his friend Bubba dies of shrimp poisoning. For his trouble, Forrest gets a shiny new necklace.
He plays ping pong and becomes a national celebrity.
"All I did was play ping pong."
because ping pong was America's most popular and widely-discussed sport, other than flasketball.
Forrest coincidentally reconnects with his old sergeant, Lieutenant Dan,
"Lieutenant Dan!" "Imbecile!"
right around the time they start a chain of restaurants together.
"We got more money than Davy Crockett."
Jenny comes back for a quickie and runs away again just kicks.
Forrest goes for a jog to think things over, then meets his son, marries Jenny, and buries Jenny.
Finally, we get one last look at the true hero of this film, that goddamn feather.
Aside from the Martin Luther King assassination and the Abraham Lincoln assassination,
Forrest Gump features nearly every significant social or political event of the 60s and 70s.
But whereas everyone around Forrest is engrossed by all that political mumbo jumbo, Forrest is oblivious,
"Sorry I had a fight in the middle of your Black Panther party."
singularly focused on the thing he best understands: love.
"Forrest, you don't know what love is."
Yes he does, Jenny!
The defining characteristic of the film is its perspective.
Through the eyes of an innocent simpleton, we see an idealized vision of Earth
that ignores grim social realities, like a pair of cinematic beer goggles.
When Forrest talks about the Vietnam War, he’s all sunshine and lollipops.
"The good thing about Vietnam, there was always something to do."
With Jenny, he sees a pretty, pretty princess, even though in reality, she’s a pretty, pretty big mess.
Young Forrest runs through picturesque Southern landscapes,
and moments later, breezes past a prison chain gang like it ain’t no nevermind.
He has an entire conversation with Lieutenant Dan
"Lieutenant Dan! Ice cream!"
before the camera reveals he lost his legs.
Forrest still sees him as a whole man, apparently unaware that human beings can’t regrow their limbs.
What’s more, Forrest may be raising a kid that isn't his. Jenny has a history of emotional manipulation,
and could have just decided to call him once she got sick and needed help.
"I'll take care of you, if you're sick."
Her “get out of parenthood free” card, if you will.
Yet Forrest sees it as high romance, as does the audience.
In fact, it is entirely possible that Forrest is an unreliable narrator,
"That tops em all!"
something I find utterly deplorable.
Much of the story depends on his memory, which is idealized and perhaps a bit faulty.
"You know it's funny what a young man recollects."
In both instances where Jenny tells Forrest to “run, Forrest, run,” everyone is wearing the same clothes,
except Jenny, who only buys designer shit.
Either this is magical realism, or Forrest’s mind is conflating the two memories
While with his platoon in Vietnam, he recalls unnatural weather shifts,
made all the more suspect when immediately punctuated by an enemy attack.
And if we can’t trust a man to accurately report meteorological activity, we can’t trust him for anything.
In any case, as the great philosopher Forrest Gump’s mom says,
Life is like a box of chocolates. "You never know what you're gonna get."
But if you look at the world through Forrest Gump’s eyes, you can bet it’s going to be sweet.
And knowing my luck, it’ll probably have fucking coconut.
For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid.
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