Last night, my girlfriend and I watched “The Pursuit of Happyness” (IMDB link), a movie starring Will Smith and his 5-year old son Jaden Smith. The movie is about a salesman, Chris Gardner played by Will Smith, struggling to make ends meet. The situation gets so bad that he gets arrested for not paying parking tickets, his wife leaves him, he and his son get evicted – not once, but twice. With no degree and experience, he then embarks on a dramatic career change and eventually overcomes his circumstances to become a stockbroker.
I didn’t know much about the movie before watching it – I decided to watch this movie kind of on the spur of the moment. I later found out that it was based on the true story of a real life Chris Gardner. Now that I’ve read the Wikipedia entry on Chris Gardner, I realise that the movie differs from Gardner’s real life story, but I think it manages to capture the sense of Gardner’s struggles and his love and dedication to his son.
I really enjoyed the movie because of Will Smith’s portrayal of Chris, and his relationship with his son Jaden. They obviously have good chemistry together and make a very believable movie father and son couple. I think Jaden will follow in his father’s footsteps as an actor, judging from his performance. And I love his little ‘fro.
Will Smith was excellent in the movie. I usually expect Will Smith characters to be funny (think Bad Boys or even MIB), but he was really convincing in his role of struggling salesman, dedicated father and desperation at being homeless and lonely. His performance earned him a nomination in the recent Academy Awards for best Lead Actor and many other awards. There were some real heart-wrenching moments and I really felt sorry for him and his son, especially when they had to spend the night in a toilet at the subway. *Shudder* I just can’t imagine myself in that situation.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. I seldom write movie reviews but this movie really inspired me. In an industry where special effects, action sequences and sex sells, “The Pursuit of Happyness” lacks in all these regards, but will keep you engaged with a good plot and storytelling, and great leading actors in Will Smith and his son Jaden.
The blogjunkie’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars.