On the face of it, Forrest Gump struck me as a delightful and entertaining, though, at times, somewhat depressing, roller-coaster ride that provides beautiful scenery, neat special effects and touching moments.
The film draws you into it's spell almost instantly, touches and entertains you despite it's undeniable simplicity.
I'm sure that Forrest Gump will more than please the casual movie-goer with it's impressing soundtrack, awesome visual effects, magnificent acting and director Robert Zemeckis's focus on beautiful and impressive shots.
At closer inspection, though, I found there was something missing. Something very important. But I couldn't quite grasp what it was at first.
Even though the reminiscences were funny at the time of watching, the rapid odyssey through America's recent history left a sour taste in my mouth and appeared utterly artificial. It just ain't working.
There is no question that the sense of humor represented in Forrest Gump implies an in-depth knowledge of historical events on the part of the film crew, and it certainly is an original idea to have a retarded guy stumble trough it and impact on historic events without any amount of intention.
Yet, it appears that in their attempt to encompass 30 eventful years, the producers simply overdid it.
Forrest Gump is an overpowering and imposing impact on the senses, emotions being torn up and down like a Super Ball.
It turns you upside-down so much you never have time to catch breath or concentrate on the intellectual attempts lurking at the edges of the plot somewhere along the line, like the development of Lt. Dan in coping with the loss of both his legs or the tendency of the people to search for spiritual leaders virtually everywhere.
In addition, the touching and the funny moments take turns so quickly it makes you feel dizzy and leaves you utterly confused what to feel. Which is exactly what makes it so emotionally draining.
Then, it struck me that there were two aspects of a film that had to be considered. One is the while-watching experience and the after-watching experience.
It is true that Forrest Gump never bores you to tears. It is so laden with impressions and such an emotional minefield that you never have the time to get bored.
But then, you never get time to think either. Not that there was too much to think about. The film clearly lacks wit, and the intellectual tidbits it does provide are mostly pre-digested anyway.
Forrest Gump simply is no film to get into intellectual conversations over afterwards.
It would have been a lot more intriguing if the producers had focused on certain events and themes instead of cramming it to the rim. As it is, Forrest Gump is just another average film with neat shots and sounds that lacks a certain something.