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“The Pursuit of Happyness” released in 2006 is a drama movie based on real life story of Chris Gardner who rose from rags to riches after a long struggle. Will Smith starring as Chris Gardner and his real son Jaden Smith co-starring as Christopher Jr. takes us through a life drama of a family that breaks up due to financial constrain leading to the departure of the mother (Linda) leaving behind son and dad struggling to survive. Their financial woes stems from Chris idea to invest all the family saving in portable bone density scanner machine which he over hikes the prices leading to poor sales. Slowly the family sinks into debts, and tax arrears and worse still come their way following the eviction of the family from their apartment. They struggle with homelessness for almost a year before fortunes beckons again when Chris shares a cab ride with the Dean Witter stock brokerage firm an encounter that totally transforms his life. It is an inspiring, entertaining, emotional, near realistic story and safe for family viewing.
Smith, through his persisted struggle to provide for his family, inspires many downtrodden people to keep working hard and never give up in life even when things are not in their favor. He comes out very clearly has an optimistic person who is ready to give life every chance worth trying with the hope of positive results. His decision to invest all the family savings in the bone density scanner was a big risk but yet an optimistic move. Even though he goes out on some day and fails to make any sales, he remains optimistic and determined to clear the stock in time to save the family from the impending financial crisis. He remains optimistic and pursues any chance of survival with lot of zeal and enthusiasm that makes you feel that every opportunity is worth fighting for until there is no other possible result before giving up. By hoping to find accommodation in the homeless shelter meant for single mother depicts him as a man who never leaves any chance unexploited to the maximum.
His determination to secure the only slot for employment opportunity in the Witter brokerage firm is one great inspirational moment in the movie. Hopes of securing the job dimmed with his arrest a day prior to the scheduled interview date only to be released a few minute to the interview time. Beaten by time and cash deficiency, he races all the way to company premise dressed shabbily, just the way police picked him while painting his house. Many of us would have given up, but he did not. He explains himself to the interview panel and they allow do the interview. He takes the risk of doing unpaid internship despite his financial constrains and his spirited fight for the single slot on offer among fifty other interns pays off opening a new leaf in his life. He also inspires many fathers to stand up for those whom they love by taking up the responsibility of bringing up his son in the wake of his wife departure and homelessness.
The movie is also very entertaining, capturing your curiosity right from the beginning up to the end with every scene unfolding in unpredictable manner which makes one to see, ‘what next’. Several scenes turn comic especially when he makes some stupid moves like trusting a lunatic he meets a few time in the street only to come back and find the man has left. The lunatic challenges him for a chase in a street to retrieve his machine but finally the mad person vanishes into the train terminus. The shared cab ride with the Witter manager also ends up in another street race, this time the cab driver pursues Chris for failing to pay him his dues. Their entry into the washrooms after missing the last bus is also dramatized giving it some humor. It is also humorous to see someone appear for a very crucial interview looking very shabby with paint stains all over his clothes given that job had nothing to do with painting. This drives one panel member into laughter before they got the explanation as to why he appeared like that.
The drama elicits lot of emotion from the viewer as they follow the twist and turns that Chris and his son’s life takes leaving you sympathizing with them in various occasions. One can see clearly that the family unit is crumbling at time when there is little to be done to save it apart from the wife persevering the hard time, a move she fails to consider. Severally Chris Jr. had to leave the daycare premises being the last one since his father comes late to pick him, a thing that makes him feel discouraged about his stay in the centre. When picking his son the last day from the day care note the misspelling happiness with a ‘y’ instead of ‘i’, a clear indication that they have never known happiness for real. On one occasion, they spent a night in the washroom in a bus station locking it from inside and laying tissue paper on the floor. This was the lowest point in their life. As you follow the drama, you have to be strong enough to avoid breaking into utter sympathy at this point.
Based on a real life story, the drama maintains realistic life situations that reflect to some extent the life of many poor and middle level people in the community. Being poor do not mean that the person did nothing about it, but it is a magnification of some wrong moves taken at one point in their lives. With determination hard work and unbreakable spirit, Chris was able to change the destiny of his life from a poor indebted person to a wealthy entrepreneur (Eberrt, 2008). This is very practical in our lives too.
Some of the scenes in the movies might look a bit unfriendly to children, for example, father yelling at his son, but overall the whole family can view the movie. The fact that the co-starring is a five-year-old boy is an indication that children above age five can view the movie. The language used in there is mild apart when Chris used the words, “damn this shit” (Indiana University, 2010). Chris shows immense love for his son and wins all his trust that depicts a strong father, son relationship encouraging many families to embrace the same approach.