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Thursday, May 27, 2004 


i recently completed reading forrest gump by winston groom. can't believe that it's been about ten years since the movie came out. it's still on my all-time favourites list. i knew the book was different - forrest becomes an astronaut and a chess champion among other deviations - but he is different character-wise as well.

right off, i noticed that book forrest was more bawdy than film forrest. while he still retains a certain naivete about the ways of the world, he also seems to screw up royally, especially with respect to Jenny. in the book, she leaves because forrest gets caught up with his fame as a professional wrestler. after the many twists and turns their relationship take, she gets married to someone else.

everything else is more or less tied up with forrest's booming shrimping business (no great storm resulting in a monopoly here... he learnt how to set up a shrimp farm while in vietnam). characters from throughout the book come under his employ.

where jenny is concerned, he finally finds her again. and there's a forrest jr. just as in the movie. but she's married to another man. ok, the book isn't a fairy tale. despite jenny dying in the movie, the fact is, forrest and her got married. that was one of the most powerful things about the movie... that love lasts over time and space and that there is - to an extent - a happily ever after.

i dunno, the book's ending just didn't click with me. if jenny's marriage to another person was groom's dose of reality for the story, then he should have just left the jenny thread alone after the final time forrest and jenny part. the people who wrote the screenplay did a wonderful job of turning the book into the film. they retained the most suitable storylines, fleshed out the characters and made the forrest and jenny love story really click.

i had to stifle tears when forrest was at jenny's grave in the film. the book left me bereft of any feeling for forrest or jenny.


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