Saturday, 20 June 2009

Pursuit of Happyness

The film delivers a simple; but inspiring message and this is that many people, when they fail they simply give in and accept defeat, believing that theres nothing they can do to change their situation for the better. There are many cases where we forget what the world has given us and all the possibilities that lie with this.

This is certainly not the case for Chris Gardner who endures considerable adversity. However, his relentless effort to pursue his dream and to be able to support his son allows him to achieve what he set out to do.

The whole film is built around the life of Chris Gardener, the opening of the film gives the background into his situation. He owns a large number of expensive bone-density scanners on which he has spent his and his wife's life savings on.

The problem lies with the fact that these bone density scanners are barely more efficient than an X-Ray machine and largely more expensive. He can't sell the machines and his life becomes a financial mess with bill after bill, his troubles become worse as his wife leaves him and he is kicked out of his apartment because he can't pay the rent.

The story splits in to two different directions when, Gardner runs into a largely successful man with an expensive sports car who says he is a stockbroker. Gardner draws inspiration from this encounter and with his great confidence in his ability to succeed he pursues a life of becoming a successful stockbroker.

He impresses in an interview at the firm and receives a small opportunity to become apart of the Dean Witter brokerage firm. Simultaneously the story follows the troubles and him and his son living in abject poverty.

I have to say; this is very good film, maybe not exceptional but it's very well-written and based on the true life of Chris Gardner. It well directed and the film itself provokes a lot of emotion, most people can relate to this story of hope and struggle, it's also enjoyable to watch someone succeed beyond all odds.

The screenplay is impressive and gives a good insight into San Francisco and the split between the prosperous part of the city and also the poorer sections of it which are ridden with poverty. I have to add that the music in the film fits perfectly with the theme and adds to the overall experience.

Moving on to the performances; I have to say that Will Smith's portrayal of Chris Gardner is possibly his best ever on-screen performance; he seems to get better with every movie he does. It is also a character dissimilar to anything he has played in the past; this is what makes his performance so great.

Smith demonstrates great strength of character and relentless determination to fight against the odds for himself and his son and he carries this off really well without over-acting his role.

Finally, Gardner's son is played by Will Smith's real son, this was a great addition to the film. Firstly he shows a lot of talent but more importantly shows a great a connection with his father which comes across as completely natural on screen.

This being said, I have to say this is one of the better films produced in 2006. It shows the strength of character in one person desire to succeed regardless of their situation and the obstacles that get in their way. Although many us may not be able to achieve what Chris Gardner does in this film, it still offers hope that confidence and determination can go along way for us to achieve what we set out to.

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