Isn't it the most beautiful thing ever? Two people going off into the crazy world and always finding their way home. I don't even mean Greenbow, Alabama. I mean, finding their way home.. to each other. Forrest found Jenny in a seedy club singing Bob Dylan songs. Jenny found Forrest in Washington, D.C., during a rally.
Something always led them home.
The promise of films is an enticing one. It gives everything meaning. Our lives are often less poetic. We'd love to travel across the country to meet up with Andy Dufresne, to marvel in how meaningful life is -- but real life is rarely painted as magically.
I still find it strange how 'Forrest Gump' and 'Shawshank Redemption' were made in the same year. Reminds me of that beautiful TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, when she talks about how old cultures would chant "God" and "Allah" when they saw something magic.
I think those two movies embody that. And sure, there will be people reading this who hate those films, or think they're overrated, or whatever; and that's fine -- but the fact is, those films were a phenomenon. Every year they try to make the latest films sound like they've changed the world. Remember the hype for 'The King's Speech' last year? Now nobody gives a shit.
'Forrest Gump' and 'Shawshank Redemption' are in people's hearts. They're the reason why people love the cinema. Deep down we like to see our lives as meaning something, as leading in a certain direction, that there's an essence within us that is guiding us along. Did we think this before movies existed? I don't know. Either way; after a few illnesses, deaths, divorces and shattered dreams -- we lose that spark. Forrest and Jenny, Red and Andy, Rick and Ilsa, we look towards them, not because of how they reflect life, but because how they make up for everything it lacks.
What do we do in real life? How do we make it meaningful? The thing about life is that when you think you've met a Fran Kubelik, they often turn out to be an Elle Driver.
Just like when you think your best friend is Elwood P. Dowd and they turn out to be Frank Costello.
Me, I'm a movie guy. Can't help it. I'm not sure there's a magical essence pointing me through life -- but I do think we have the power, as people, to live the lives we want, to make it meaningful.