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 round desperately. The urgency in his moves is well-captured, for he knows he had to get it right, for this journey on the cab could well be a ticket to the journey of his life itself.
To me that scene in the cab summed up the movie – try, try and try again. You have to determine all the moves for yourself and you have to get it right. That is how one pursues happiness, and Chris’ life is a testimony to that. All this is voiced in one way or other when Chris talks to his son in the movie. In one scene when Chris is playing basketball with his son, he says he never made it as a basketball player and his son wouldn’t make it either. And just immediately after, he tells the kid, “Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me. Or at another time he says, “You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something? Go get it. Gardner”. And that’s what Chris does – he gets out there, works himself out and makes it – really makes it, giving hope to a lot of others like him. Not only does this scene voice that people should focus of the strength of trying despite their failures but it also depicts the love that parents have for their children can directly impact the children. This scene especially shows that was parents say and do can have a direct effect on the children.
By Chris telling his son to never let anyone tell him he can not do something and that if he has a dream to go get it. These are strong words that reflect what most parents wish to teach their children. To never give up and even in the worst conditions like in Chris’ situation, that you can still succeed in life. You just have to put your mind to it and have support from people who love you, like your parents. The title of this movie plays a huge role in what the movie is about. According to www. dictionary. com, success is the “attainment of wealth, position, or honours. Therefore, success can be measured by the amount of money an individual has, the position he or she has at work, and by the number of awards that have been won. Right? Years ago, in an interview with a man named Dilshad D. Ali, Chris Gardner was asked the familiar question: “Why is “happyness” spelled with a “y” in the title of your book? ” After a long pause, he eloquently stated that he wanted people to start thinking about their own definitions of happiness, what makes them happy, and “y” (why). If an individual lacks the knowledge of what truly makes him happy and why, it is impossible for him to chase his happiness.
Understand first, and then pursue. The “y” in “happyness” holds many different explanations as to what it symbolizes and reflects; however, the central message that each of these interpretations convey is that the pursuit of happiness is only possible when one is willing to battle through hardship and suffering. The road to seeking happiness is straightforward and clear, but it is never easy; the journey is filled with tests, trials, and hindrances of all sorts, and it is our jobs to triumph over these obstructions. Only then is the impossible possible.