Tom Hanks is a versatile and legendary actor who has won distinct awards such as an Academy Award for Best Actor and an Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role award, both for Forrest Gump. He has starred in other classics such as Saving Private Ryan, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. You might’ve not realized it, but he also voiced Woody in Pixar’s Toy Story film series.
Aside from his role as an educator in the film adaptations of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons and the upcoming Inferno, he has inspired and cultured us in ways beyond Professor Langdon’s reach. Hidden messages are everywhere!
Here are some perfect pick-me-up visual treats on days where you’ve lost all enthusiasm and feel like being a potato is your only purpose in life.
Get your hanks, I mean, hankies ready!
As FORREST GUMP
We might all recognize this timeless film because of one of its most famous quote, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
But there is more to this movie than just the comparison of life to a delicacy. If there is anything that Tom Hank’s slow-witted, kind-hearted and good-natured Forrest Gump character taught us, is that if we want something, we should go get it. No matter what anyone says. He even risks his life in the process of keeping the promises he’s kept and goals he’s set.
“One day it started raining, and it didn’t quit for four months. We been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin’ rain… and big ol’ fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath. Shoot, it even rained at night…”
Although this citation from the film literally refers to the rain of bullets he encountered during the war in Vietnam, it also symbolizes all kinds of trials that life brings us and how hard times will not last forever.
Evidence of his deep, unconditional faith in God is evident in the way his Mama constantly reminded him to “do the best with what God gave you”. In addition, Forrest’s best friend, Jenny, and he prayed to God to turn her into a bird so she could fly away from her abusive father.
In short, Forrest Gump was perseverance embodied. His sense of goodness and judgment (regardless of his low IQ) made discovering simple truths and life values (which everyone around him were blind to) an effortless feat.
In CAST AWAY
“And I know what I have to do now. I have to keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”
Ranked #1 in“Best Survival Movies,” Tom Hanks characterizes Chuck Noland, a FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes in the South Pacific. The film portrays his efforts to survive on the island alone, for four years, using whatever the island had to offer and the remnants of his plane’s cargo.
When you think you’ve lost everything, look around once more. Helplessness will take you nowhere. Be resourceful and realize that whatever you have, no matter how little, is still something to be grateful for – even if the only thing you have left is you. You have to advocate for yourself because life isn’t fair at all times.
There won’t always be a search or rescue team set out to save you; learn how to be your own sailor, combat your own waves, change your course and steer yourself to safety.
At THE TERMINAL
Here he plays the role of Viktor Nagroski, a resourceful man visiting the United States from Krakozhia. Torn between the dilemma of not being able to go home due to a civil war outbreak in his homeland and not being able to enter the U.S., he is forced to live in New York’s JFK International Airport for nine months. Top it off with a language barrier.
We usually view airports as halfway points of our destination. But to Viktor, the airport was temporarily his last stop. His patience while suffering an injustice that was not his doing proved to be his saving grace. Despite all that, he was able to make a home out of his isolation.
“Sometimes you land a small fish. You unhook him very carefully. You place him back in the water. You set him free so that somebody else can have the pleasure of catching him.”
In this case, the ‘small fish’ was Viktor. This excerpt shows how compliant he was to the laws of the foreign land he inhabited, even when he was provoked by someone in authority to violate them.
By Being EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE
“If things were easy to find, they wouldn’t be worth finding”.
Set during the September 11, 2001 bombing of the World Trade Center, Tom Hanks plays the character of Thomas Schell. Although he lands a not so major role that passes away early on in the film as a result of the terrorist attack, his death teaches his son, Oskar, that once he accepts sadness as a part of life, he will be able to embrace happiness without feeling guilty.
“There’s nothing that could convince someone who doesn’t want to be convinced. But there is an abundance of clues that would give the wanting believer something to hold on to. ”
Oskar exhausted so much of his time chasing and prioritizing his father’s death and memory over his mother’s presence. The loss of his father makes Oskar realize later on that loneliness can be cured among the presence of loved ones.
No one can do everything alone. Keep yourself open to insights from sources you never knew could educate you. Treasure those who care about you, be it your parents, friends, teachers or coaches.
What do all these films have in common?
They all depict survival and optimism at its finest. They serve as a reminder that being alone and being lonely are not the same, and that although we need others to get by, solitude is not always a bad thing. Sometimes it’s actually the greatest way to discover one’s self.
Never give up. Forrest kept running. Chuck lived to tell the tale of his abandonment in an island. Viktor made a home for himself wherever he ended up, and Thomas Schell Jr. left behind clues so that his son could expand his world view and embrace his emotions as he goes.
Discover how to enjoy the moments of bliss, alone or with a companion, through reminiscence or in the present. Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered until you’ve gone astray, but trust that you will find a way and will always be found.
Ayah is currently a content writer and editor for Scoopfed. Formerly a student journalist. Full time writer, part time bibliophile and a TV series hoarder-slash-enthusiast.