Based on the real life story of Chris Gardner, the Pursuit of Happyness looks at the crests and troughs in Chris' life on his way to becoming a stock broker, and eventually as everyone knows, a multi-millionaire. Will Smith played the role of Chris Gardner while Smith's son, Jaden Smith played Gardner's 7 or 8-year-old son. At one level, even though the movie is titled The Pursuit of Happyness (deliberately spelt wrong), it is pretty depressing. Yes, the movie is supposed to focus on the struggles of the main protagonist as he chases what seems like a chimerical dream. However, every time you think that things are going to get better, they only get even worse for Chris. As Chris and his son move from one slump to another, you begin to wonder is there truly light at the end of the tunnel for this man?
The movie starts off with Chris desperately trying to sell, with not too much luck, a bone density monitoring system. Every hospital he approaches does not seem to find a need for such a system. But at different stages in the movie, I did find it strange that, when things start going really wrong, and when you know he needs to dig deep to find a way out, Chris does manage to sell that very system to different doctors, even as he is trying to do his best at an unpaid internship at Dean Whitter brokerage firm, and also struggling to find a place to stay at night for himself and his son. So, initially, couldn't he sell it because he didn't try hard enough or because he knew that even if he didn't sell it there was a way out with his wife doing two shifts at work?
It seems even weirder because the movie seems to focus on the strength of trying despite failures, on Chris' unwavering perseverance and determination. Two scenes in the movie actually reflect this very well: first, when Chris gets a chance to impress his future employer, in 10 to 20 minutes on a cab ride. As the cab races to the destination, Chris struggles with the Rubik's cube, turning it round and...
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