The Pursuit of Happyness English Movie

Feature Film | 2006
Mar 13, 2007 By Sevanand Gaddala

Even a wallet with very little money can be heavy. Though the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" is no way trying to be a tome on poverty, it shows us the awesome weight of poverty and how it can seep into every moment of the day.

A wallet having just $5 may not be much but it is a lot when it determines a decent meal for you and your son or both going to bed hungry.

"The Pursuit of Happyness" stars Will Smith, Thandie Newton, who plays his wife, and his real life son Jaden Christopher Smith plays his son in it.

It is a simple story about Chris Gardener (Smith) struggling to support his family by selling portable bone-density scanners. The job is all the more difficult since nobody wants to buy these things but he has no choice since he has invested all his life savings into these gadgets.

One day he runs into a stockbroker with a fancy car who tells Chris that all he has do to make it that big is to be good with numbers and know how to deal with people.

Chris believes he has both these requirements but cannot yet take on an internship with the stockbroker's company because they don't pay interns and there is no guarantee of a job. The only way to get a job is to place first among a pool of 20 hopefuls.

The plot line is simple and the depiction is straightforward without any emphasis on sentimentality. But the genius of the movie lies in its depiction of the way poverty can weigh you and how it affectedly determines every single moment of your life; especially if you are responsible for others like your children.

The movie borders on depressing but pulls back just enough.

Director Gabriele Muccino does a good job of not trying to milk the scenes to induce tears. Instead, he lets the distressing situations unfold as realistically as possible.

We witness the characters, especially Chris, try to maintain composure and figure out how to get out of one horrendous situation after another as they constantly beset him.

The movie doesn't fall into the trap of making it a cheesy triumph of the human spirit against all odds that most Hollywood films do. We have to wait till the last 10 minutes of the movie to share Chris' pursuit of happiness finally ending. Till then, we are made to share in the struggles.

The director does a fine job of laying out the moments and having the main character get to the core of the situation. When placed in that overwhelming middle, we patiently have to wait as Gardener figures a way out.

The thrill of the movie lies in its depiction of the fact that no matter how hard life's struggles may be, with a lot of determination, hard work and, yes, even a twist of luck, happiness is worth pursuing.

Sevanand Gaddala