The Pursuit of Happyness Review – Happiness With A Y

“In ‘The Pursuit of Happyness,’ Will Smith’s portrayal of Chris Gardner’s unwavering spirit resonates, reminding us that even in the darkest moments, the pursuit of happiness is a journey worth taking.”

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3 Min Read
Posted: November 10, 2023

Film: The Pursuit Of Happyness
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Running time: 117 Minutes
Release Date: December 15, 2006
Maturity Rating: For All Ages

Gabriele Muccino is an Italian film director. He has worked his way from making short films aired on Italian television to becoming a well-known and prosperous American filmmaker.

In addition, his directing style is marked by emotionally charged storytelling, often focusing on human relationships. He employs sweeping visuals and a poignant use of music to create a visceral connection with the audience, making his films resonate on a personal level.

The Pursuit Of Happyness – Review

The “Pursuit Of Happyness” is a poignant and inspiring film about one man’s journey from homelessness to success. It was a movie where the spelling of Happiness was wrong, but it was the right situation.

This movie is a beautiful journey of a father & son who stick to each other throughout their life struggling to earn the bread and how finally, the hard work pays off.

This inspirational biopic features Will Smith & Jaden Smith as Chris and Chris Jr respectively. The real-life father-son duo has no trouble generating screen chemistry, being already relatively relaxed with each other quite naturally.

Also starring Thandie Newton, this film is a classical masterpiece – one of those uplifting, overcoming-the-odds “miracle” movies.

Setting/Theme

The film follows the difficult years of Chris Gardner with his poor young son, who founded a Chicago-based brokerage firm called Gardner Rich & Co. and took on multi-billion dollar assets.

It all starts when his family loses their house, and Gardner’s wife leaves him alone with their son. Chris Gardner and his son live in their car until he no longer has enough money to pay for parking tickets, leading to the impounding of the vehicle.

Will smith as Chris Gardner in The Pursuit Of Happyness
However, Chris is still determined to turn both their lives around. He invests what little money he has left in a bone density scanner. After the failure of this venture, he sees a wealthy stockbroker who inspires him to join that trade as well.

Through emotional storytelling and compelling performances, the film encapsulates the universal theme of tenacity, illustrating that the path to happiness is often paved with hardships that demand unyielding determination.

Character Development

Gardner is the type of guy everyone knows, and most have been at one point in their life or another – the working poor. He’s intelligent and hard-working but unable to catch a break and falling further and further behind in his responsibilities to everything.

Will smith as Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness
But when it comes to his young son, whom he’d promised to always be around for, no matter the circumstances, he shows sincere dedication to changing his fortune. Consequently, his quest for a better life portrays an incredible bond between the father and son that no incident can demolish.

Nevertheless, when Gardner confronts homelessness and professional setbacks, his character evolves from desperation to a steely resolve to create a better life. As his dismay starts building up, Gardner sticks constantly to the expectation that his hard work will, in the end, pay off.

Will Smith’s nuanced portrayal captures Gardner’s internal struggles, showcasing a metamorphosis marked by grit, resourcefulness, and an unyielding belief in the possibility of happiness against all odds.

Will and Jaden Smith in The Pursuit Of Happyness
Message

This movie is not simply a melodrama; it’s a transparent and honest depiction of what life is. It doesn’t follow the archetypal route of any other success story where the hero gains success after a few obstacles, and then it’s all flowers and rainbows.

It tells us there’s no guarantee that you’ll succeed if you’ve struggled enough.

The film’s narrative subtly whispers that, in the pursuit of happiness, the strength within us can illuminate the darkest paths, making it an inspiring portrayal of the human spirit’s capacity for triumph.

Will and Jaden Smith, Chris Gardner and Chris Jr

Moreover, the movie is all about the missed opportunities, the sure things that fall apart, the tiny achievements that seem worthless. But at the end of the day, they all amount to something. It’s not all in vain.

Cinematography 

The film captivates audiences through cinematography, skillfully using visuals to mirror the characters’ emotional journey. The camera work, under the direction of Gabriele Muccino, dynamically captures the grittiness of urban life, reflecting the challenges Chris Gardner faces.

The use of handheld shots during moments of turmoil creates an immersive experience, allowing viewers to connect with the characters’ struggles intimately.

Don't give up on your dreams , Will smith in The Pursuit Of Happyness
Additionally, Muccino employs a play of light and shadow to symbolise hope emerging from adversity, enhancing the film’s visual narrative.

Summary

This story is cliche, but it’s a reality that occurs to many people, and this movie holds the audience’s attention because many can relate to it. What makes the movie more compelling is its emotional intensity throughout the entire story. I recommend watching it since the film teaches us a lot about handling the ups and downs of life. The emphasis of resilience and perseverance makes “The Pursuit Of Happyness” a forever classic.

Rating : 9.5 / 10

Pros

  • Inspirational Storytelling
  • Mesmerising Performances
  • Cinematic Excellence
  • Authentic Portrayal Of A True Success Story

Cons

  • Some Critics Argue That The Film Can Be Overly Sentimental
  • Some Viewers Might Find The Narrative Slow Paced

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