The Pursuit of Happyness Reviews
Chris Gardner (Will Smith) is just trying to make money and take care of his family. After investing his entire life savings in a company that goes nowhere, he decides to risk it all and go out for an unpaid internship with a stockbroking company. The message here is extremely powerful, a message he delivers to his son about halfway through the film: If you want something, go get it. And, in the process of getting it, don't let anyone tell you that you can't have it.
The film revolves Gardner's struggle to work for no pay and still manage to take care of his son. You can't help but admire his hustle. Despite numerous shortcomings and failed attempts, he continues to push toward his vision. It's inspiration at its finest. And, just as people warned me, it's also heartbreaking to watch. I mean, the guy can't seem to catch a break. Ever. He takes a step forward then eight back. I appreciated the film being delivered in this fashion because of how real it felt. I never got the sense of sugarcoating. This man was broken, yet he found a way to piece himself back together.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Jaden Smith's performance as Chris jr. He carries the innocence and sadness of a kid that's a victim of a situation he doesn't seem to fully understand. While it's heartbreaking to see them struggle, it's heartwarming to watch them struggle together.
My one complaint would be the movie ending a bit too abruptly for my taste. Other than that, what a great film! I give it a 92.
The Pursuit Of Happyness
Brooding into its tragic situations Will Smith breathes life into the character, whether be it then portraying guilt, suffer or hopelessness; in this light drama The Pursuit Of Hapyness, that questions some basic issues molded with innocence.
Cast: Will Smith, Jayden Smith, Thandie Newton, Brian Howe.
Director: Gabriele Muccino
You better have a box of tissues by your side when watching this movie; it might make you cry like a baby. This film is based on a true story, a father learning to overcome some of the hardest trials in his lifetime. Willing to lose every materialistic thing if he has to as long as he gets to keep his son by his side. Avery meaningful, inspirational, and very well put together film. Will and Jayden Smith give us an outstanding performance leaving us wanting more. In movies, Will usually plays a manly, confident role and always does a very good job doing it. In the pursuit of happyness he is challenged with a different type of role than he usually plays, a very humble, poor, man that is struggling to hold his family together. In my opinion there's no better choice of actor to take on this role, he kills it! Plus, who doesn't like Will Smith?
Chris Gardner (Will Smith) faces crucial poverty and homelessness in the city of San Francisco while trying to support his 4-year-old son all at the same time. He invests most of his life savings on portable bone density scanners that are supposedly more efficient than your average X-rays. He goes around from clinic to clinic trying to figure out a way to sell them, but most of the time has no luck. He accepts an internship at financial institution Dean Witter, to later realize he will not be getting any money from this. He continues to do it because he knows this will give him experience and could help him get a better job in the future. His wife (Thandie Newton) gets frustrated about the lack of money her and Will are bringing home, due to the fact that it's not sufficient to pay the bills. She decides to pack up her stuff and completely abandons them. He has no money to pay rent, gets kicked out of his apartment, leaving him and his son with nowhere to go or sleep.
Will Smiths son (Jaden) has a really interesting role in this movie; he plays a very smart and clever young boy. A very kind, and innocent character, the crowd loves him. He stays loyal to his father and right by his side thru all the hardships. He's a constant reminder to Will that as long as you have your loved ones by your side, you can get thru any trial your facing. He also adds a lot of comedy to this film, his small sarcastic remarks is what the viewers love about him.
There's a crucial scene in the movie where Chris reaches a turning point in his life. He really hits the lowest of the lowest, I'm talking rock bottom. Him and his son have nowhere to go and have no other option but to sleep on the bathroom floor of a train station. In this scene Chris is sitting on the ground clinging on to his son as tight as he can while holding the bathroom door shut with his foot. Every material thing he had got taken from him, but he still has his son by his side, which is what he cares for most. He does what ever he can to keep his him safe, even if it means just holding him tight and being by his side. Chris starts sobbing; he's lost and has no idea if he will make it out of this nightmare we call life or not. He takes a looks at his son and realizes he has no other option but to keep fighting for the sake of him. He gains the strength and right mindset and knows that giving up is not an option.
I won't ruin the ending for you guys, but overall, I loved this movie! The love that Chris Gardner shows for his child is so touching and like no other. Everything he does is for his son, so that he can grow up and have a better future. I highly recommend watching this movie!
The beginning scene opened on Gardner, happily strolling through the hills of San Francisco with a sewing machine under his arm. He had invested all of his savings into the clunky contraptions that could measure bone density; his main job was to haul them around San Francisco and convince physicians that they were worth the money. Over time, he began selling less and less, while his wife began taking more and more shifts at the dry cleaners; yet Gardner had repeatedly reassured his family that they would pull through, and against all odds come out on top. Their rent bills kept being pushed back, until one night, all hell broke loose. His wife abandoned him to get a job back east, his landlord kicked him out of his apartment, and no one needed his machines anymore. Gardner hit rock bottom. It was the tear-invoking moment in the movie, when, Gardner, homeless, jobless, sitting in the subway restroom and clutching his sleeping son, transforms the typical sob story into something more tangible. The genuinely heartbreaking display of emotions by Will Smith in that scene is one of the reasons this movie stands apart from the others. Gardner's only salvation was to set up camp in a homeless shelter, and survive an unpaid brokering internship, something he had been dreaming of doing. To do this, Gardner had to woo the job from Dean Witter, owner of the stock firm. His 5-minute cab-ride interview with Witter's aide revealed his quirky attitude and his unusual skills in mathematics and solving the Rubik's Cube, which charmed both the aide and the movie audience. Gardner got the job, and dutifully trotted off to secure a bed in the homeless shelter for himself and his son. The scenes in the homeless shelter, of Gardner bathing his(Will Smith's actual) son, telling him stories as he fell asleep, and standing proud amongst other broken men as they got their food, spoke to the paternally protective side of the audience. It also spoke of Gardner's unnerving ability to see a future for himself and his son in which they would be happy, and this vision drives him to tackle each challenge as they come along. The lesson Gardner, and ultimately Will Smith, taught to his son, and Muccino taught to the audience, was that despite every possible thing that went wrong in Gardner's life, he would not stop trying for his son's future and "happyness". It was Muccino's and Smith's ode to parents present and past that kept getting up after they were kicked down.
In Gardner's eyes, the Pursuit of Happyness is the pursuit of perseverance in the face of ever-mounting odds. It is the unyielding paternal power that Will Smith masterfully portrays through the midlife crisis of Chris Gardner. The climax of the movie predictably but resoundingly proved this correct, as Witter quietly came up to Gardner on the last day of his internship to announce that he had gotten the job. That is the moment of pure euphoria that the audience had silently awaited and Will Smith portrayed as he clapped his hands and wept silent tears. The anguish that Gardner had gone through are what make this movie genuine and moving, and what separates it from the rest of the cookie cutter American Dream movies. It is the director's and screenwriter's exquisite detail to the sacrifices that Gardner had to make to end up where he was, and their attempt at answering his question. What is the meaning of happiness? Ultimately, I think Gardner answered that. It was that moment of relief, of stability, that Gardner felt as he pulled himself and his family one stable job closer to a happy ending.