In the film Pursuit Of Happyness directed by Gabriele muccino, a setting that allowed us to understand a character more in-depth was the bathroom setting. This is where the protagonist, Chris Gardner (Played by Will Smith) and Christopher (Played by Jaden Smith) are forced to sleep in a San Francisco subway station public toilet. This setting allows us to understand more in-depth what Chris Gardners intentions are and why this is the lowest point of his life. The way the Muccino portrays this is through camera work, motif, lighting and sound effects.
All these provide the audience with a better understanding of Chris Gardner.
In the bathroom setting, Muccino uses camera work to portray the different ideas and emotions that allow us to further understand Chris Gardner. In the opening scene there is a long shit which shows Chris and his son Christopher on a park bench sitting at separate ends. This shows the current separation between father and son and how badly the the current homelessness situation is effecting their relationship.
Between them is the Bond Density Scanner that Chris is so desperately trying to sell just to get by. He gave up his life savings and ultimately his marriage to be a salesman for these scanners. The eye level shot of the bathroom allows us to see in detail the horrific state of the public toilet. It portrays the bathroom as being bigger than what it actually i, thus showing how intimidating and scary it would be to stay the night in. The high angle shot showing Chris and his son on the grounding the bathroom shows in vast detail how bad the situation is for both father and son.
They are both sitting on toilet paper laid out on the ground to try and keep at least a little bit of sanitary. This shows that despite the situation Chris wants to do his utmost to keep his son safe and happy. A high angle shot of Chris and Christopher sitting on top of toilet paper on the ground further details the feelings that both father and son are feeling. Chris Gardners face looks lifeless but desperate. He is worried and scared but despite his fears he does not allow Christopher to detect them. Christopher is lying lifeless and asleep against his dad. He looks tired, not only physically but mentally as well. Tired of constantly living in liminal time and having no home. This cinematography allows the audience to understand Chris Gardner, both with his desperation to sleep somewhere locked and safe and the understanding of the love he has for his
Muccino also uses lighting and sound effects that enhance the impact of the situation. The lighting used in this bathroom setting is a white, bright light. It is harsh on the eyes and allows nothing to hide from its penetrating glare. The harshness of this light contrasts with how hard Chris is finding life at the moment and how desperate he is to have a home. Chris is trapped in a darkness of harsh light and he’s trying to find his happiness through this hardship. The bright light in the setting details how dirty and unhygienic the bathroom they are sleeping in is. The light also reflects off the white tiled walls which makes it a hard place to sleep in. This also depicts Chris’ desperation and determination to do anything to find a reasonably safe place for him and his son to sleep in. The main, major sound effect used is an invasive, aggressive banging on the door of someone wanting to use the bathroom. When this happens Chris holds his son closer and puts his foot up against the door to try minimising the scary and intimidating sound. This is almost a last ditch effort of Chris’ behalf as if the door was to open his foot would not protect them. These features used further enhance the fact that Chris has reached his lowest of lows throughout his journey of homelessness, however, despite that he uses his last amounts of physical and mental strength to protect his son. this further leads us to understand how compassionate and protective Chis is of his son.
Muccino used motif such as The Bone Density scanner and liminal time into his film. These re-accuring features remind the audience of Chris and his sons current situation. The Bone Density Scanner is seen throughout the whole film and it is always separating Chris from something, whether it be a job or his marriage. The scanner runs his life. In the bathroom setting it is separating Chris and his son in the opening scene. it tends to create unhappiness and frustration which is proved by Christopher in the opening scene to the bathroom setting. The scanner is what separates Chris from not only his family but from the American Dream. The scanner is essentially guarding Chris from happiness. Liminal Time is also a large factor throughout the movie. Chris is never travelling somewhere specific – unless he’s trying to sell a scanner. An example of this is when they are sitting in the subway station in the bathroom setting. Chris and his son have no where to go. Both of these motifs show us a greater understanding of the frustrations that Chris is having to face without any support. On top of this he also has to provide as much as possible to his son which again shows us his tremendous love for his son.
Muccino has carefully used visual and oral features to craft this film in order to successfully portray ideas. This particular setting uses specific features that allows the audience to gain a greater understanding of characteristics and qualities that Chris Gardner holds. This setting has been able to depict that no matter how hard a situation is family always comes first. This setting has given us a greater understanding of who Chris is as a person and how he will do absolutely anything for his son despite what situation they are in.
Cite this Pursuit Of Happyness by Gabriele Muccino
Pursuit Of Happyness by Gabriele Muccino. (2016, Oct 29). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/pursuit-of-happyness-2/