Movie Title: The Pursuit of Happyness
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (7/10)
The Pursuit of Happyness official site: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thepursuitofhappyness/
Many just kept wondering how come such a big movie with big stars in it have a trailer with spelling mistakes at it’s movie title. For me… it never cross my mind they make any mistake. Looking at the font play… one would be sure it is done in a purpose and the purpose… you gotta really see the movie to actually understand it.
“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is one of the famous phase in the United States Declaration of Independence and yes, the movie title is derived from this famous phrase. This movie is made based on a true story of Chris Gardner, a self-made millionaire who struggled with poverty, homelessness while raising his son during the early 80’s.
This movie is a self narrated drama movie. It started of showing how Chris Gardner (Will Smith) and his wife, Linda (Thandie Newton) struggles with their life trying to bring up Christopher (Jaden Smith). Back then, Chris is a struggling salesman who spend most of his days selling portable x-ray scanners. At first Linda and Chris thought this item would be a hit and they would get rich. They ordered the x-ray scanners in big bulks, taking up most of their saving. However this x-ray scanner is seen as unnecessary and expensive as the standard x-ray scanners at hospitals are sufficient enough.
Due to this, Chris struggle almost every single day to sell the machine. Linda on the other hand have to work 3 jobs a day. Pressure adds on when a letter came from the government claiming for tax and the owner is buzzing them for rents. Due to their financial condition, Chris could only afford to send Christopher to a nearby childcare operated by Mrs. Chu (Takayo Fischer) who just let the kids play with toys and watch television.
Chris make numerous complains that Christopher should not be watching tv and that Mrs. Chu should teach Christopher something instead. However he was quickly shut down when Mrs. Chu asked Chris to pay up for the fees he owes her. The best one and most related to the movie comment was when he asked one of the maintenance worker to repaint the wall and highlighted that happiness is not spelt as “happyness”.
Everything was working fine until one day Chris accidently ran in to a Wall Street broker who informs him all one needs to do his job is be good with people and numbers. From then onwards, Chris is motivated to be one of them. He secretly went for an interview to join their internship programme. He then try to walk up to Jay Twistle (Brian Howe) but he was too busy to entertain him. Chris got Jay’s attention when he shared a taxi with Jay and manage to fix the “cube game”. Then onwards, Jay contacted Chris telling him he was shortlisted out of the 20 people and asked him to go for an interview.
On the other side of the story, Linda just couldn’t take it anymore. She decides to bring Christopher along and leave Chris. However, being a dedicated father, Chris insist that Christopher should stay with him. Just when things seems right, it went all wrong. Chris’ owner asked Chris to shift out immediately as he have to repaint the walls as someone else decides to rent the place. Chris promises to paint the house instead to buy some time. While painting, Chris was busted by the police when he fails to pay his parking tickets. To add to the excitement, he was jailed for the night as the police officers need to ensure the cheque is cleared before they could actually release him.
Upon his release, he ran and attended the interview without even changing or cleaning up the paint on his face. Despite his untidy and messy outlook, he got the offer as he was determined and went all out to get it. His happiness was quickly washed away when he was told that he is not getting paid during the internship. Which means he will have to support himself and his son without any promise of a paying job in the future.
Knowing this is his only best shot, he accepted the offer. He and Christopher then move to a nearby motel with cheap rates. Everyday, he would send Christopher to childcare then head of to work. In his internship, they are all given clients listing and they were required to call as much customers as possible to seal deals and takes a final test. Chris would call up people in the list without stop and doing it quicker than anyone else using his own techniques.
Chris still sells his x-ray scanners as a part time job. Life seems just a little better when he manage to sell a few scanners. Just when he felt at the top of the world, the government just took money from his bank account when he fails to pay the tax. He was pissed and lost when he found out about the issue. What is even worst is when he was thrown out from the motel and is now homeless.
At work, Chris manages to call a big “potential” client. He was however late for their appointment when his superior insisted that he help him park his car. Chris then manages to find out where the client stay and pretend he is visiting some friends nearby with Christopher. He then strike up a conversation, apologizing for not being punctual on the appointment. His client then invited him to a football match. It was really a great match. However his client told him he is not interested in his products. Chris was a little disappointed as he thought by closing the deal, this would secure him a paying job. However, his client did introduce him to a few other friends which initially did help him.
Out of work, after being thrown out from the motel.. Chris and his son would have to queue up in front of the house for homeless. The numbers they take in are limited and the line is only open at 5pm everyday. Hence, Chris would have to finish work earlier and faster than anyone else to ensure he doesn’t lose out.
There were a few times when he and Christopher could not get a place and they would have to stay at their railway station. It was really pitiful. things turn a little brighter when Chris manages to fix one of his “lost and found” x-ray scanner. With the money, he then rented a good room and stayed the night with Christopher.
The result of the internship is soon to be reviewed. Chris was being called to the office and was told that he successfully secure a job as he did really well during his internship. Chris was in tears when he heard the news. He was really relieved as it really takes him a great effort and courage to come this far.
Yes, it’s a nothing much to tell tale. A true story of how someone struggle to get to the top. The plots are almost as similar to every other true story of how some millionaire struggle for success. We have probably seen it so many times. But what differ this movie from the rest is the emotional and bonding factor.
I somewhat think casting Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s actual son) to take up the role as Chris Garner’s toddler son was a great move. The father and son bond is just so natural on screen. It really moves people and bring out a lot of family ties. Not to even mention their act was so so so good. I really think Will Smith deserves his nominations and awards for his role.
Right, this is a movie with lots of talking which means lots of listening. The narrator practically tells a lot of things which was not shown to cover back everything that was not visually seen. I must say the colour of movie wasn’t really appealing to me but… thinking how it was set in the 1980s… okay.. I forgive them.
It was basically a great movie… probably a little boring for some… well, see it if you really need some boost to be motivated in striving for success in life.