|Will and Jaden Smith portray the roles of Chris Gardner |
and his son in "The Pursuit of Happyness.
Photo by: Sony Pictures
“The Pursuit of Happyness” is one long arduous journey from beginning to end, but totally worth the trip in the end. Even though the film was released in 2006 about a story that happened back in 1981, it is still very relevant today.
“The Pursuit of Happyness” is a biographical story based on a best-selling memoir by Chris Gardner. Gardner had struggled for about a year with homelessness while raising his young son. Gardner is portrayed in the film by Will Smith, who received an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.
Gardner was a good family man who made a chain of mistakes that brought his life from bad to worse. In what appeared to be a no-fail business deal, Gardner invests his family’s entire savings into a brand new device, a bone-density scanner, to which he would try to sell to hospitals. The trouble is, nobody wanted to buy them. Soon, Gardner is running out of money and his wife, Linda, (Thandie Newton) is running out of patience. She eventually decides to leave him causing Gardner and his son Christopher Jr. (Jaden Smith, Will Smith’s real-life son) to fend for themselves.
On a whim, Gardner strikes up a conversation with a stockbroker from Dean Witter on the street and before you know it, Gardner is offered an unpaid internship with 19 other interns. At the end of their term, only one will get a paying job. Knowing that this internship will take up all of his time and not pay any of the bills, Gardner reluctantly takes the offer. Father and son transition from motel to subway bathroom to homeless shelters, never letting on to his potential employer of their financial situation.
“The Pursuit of Happyness” is tough to watch at times and even tougher if you are unemployed. The movie never lets up either. It’s a classic case of one step forward, three steps back. Gardner’s journey is never easy, but through it all, he handles every obstacle with determination which ends up paying off for him in the end.
“Happyness” is also encouraging in that Gardner never gives up. He has a dream of being successful and while his wife does what she can to discourage him from this dream, he continues to preserve. He isn’t driven by his own ambition, but also for his son’s future. In the very beginning of the film, a voice-over by Gardner states that he didn’t meet his own father until he was much older. He lets us know that he has vowed to not make the same mistake with his own son no matter what. Throughout the film, Chris Gardner does all he can to stay afloat financially and be able to provide for his son. Even though he is an incredible hard-worker, there is no denying that a “higher power” was looking over him. Like us, Gardner was not able to control every situation around him. After you’ve done everything you can do for a situation, allow some room for a miracle. You’ll be surprised what will happen.