I happened to watch "The Pursuit Of Happyness" over the weekend.
Based on the original story of Chris Gardner (the man behind Gardner-Rich brokerage firm), the screenplay and characterizations are just perfect. The movie ranges from tragic to funny to inspirational.
The title of the movie has Happiness misspelled as Happyness - in the memory of the day care where Christopher (Chris's son) goes everyday.
Overall sentiment : Must watch.
Biggest draws - 1. The performances of Will and Jaden Smith 2. The Screenplay.
Biggest Flaw - Another story about the Great American Dream. While the story still inspires you, there is not much new in terms of the storyline
Will Smith in the lead role has pulled off another marvelous performance. As a struggling yet positive father whose only dream, probably, is to keep his son happy, Will packages poise, understated pain, downright humor in one nice packet. As most of the reviews point, Will Smith elevates the movie to a different level.
Jaden Smith, the little boy playing Christopher Gardner (Chris's son) is equally amazing.
There are some amazing wisecracks, which I dont know if they are inspired by real life incidents that the real Chris Gardner lived through.
Reference to Thomas Jefferson's declaration of independence and the right to "pursue happiness" keeps the theme moving. But the best is when the narrator says - probably he was right. we can only pursue happiness. We can never have it.
The wisecracks are good. (e.g. the brokerage firm interview of Chris Gardner - One of the men asks him "What would you say if I told you we once hired a man who came in without a shirt on?" Chris pauses then wittily replies "Those must have been some really nice pants." )
There are those tragic moments as well - especially the shot where Chris and Christopher are spending the night in a rest room.
People may have different views about the movie but for me the endgame was Will Smith's portrayal.
Some movies are not meant to be analyzed for "is it really possible?". They are just feel-good movies (yeah! The great American dream.. hmph!). What makes such movies great are performances such as Will Smith's.
Couple of first timers for me -
1. I watched a movie all alone, all by myself. And its a pretty good experience - if the movie is good, there is no disturbance whatsoever. If the movie is bad, you can just walk out without having to convince anyone else to walk out as well!
2. The first shot of the movie was the intermission break. Thats a neat one! The show was going to be an uniterrupted one - no intermissions later. I wonder if the popcorn and pepsi sales are higher for such uninterrupted shows (with people wondering what if I feel like having it later!)