Film Report on Gabriel Muccino's Masterpiece The Pursuit of Happyness

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The Pursuit of happyness is directed by Gabriel Muccino and stars Will Smith, Thandie Newon and Jaden Smith in lead roles. The movie got released on December 15, 2006 and has a runtime of 117 minutes. It is an autobiographical drama based on the memoir by the multi-millionaire Chris Gardner about his own life struggles. To summarize the theme of the movie we have a scene where Chris is talking to his son and says, “If you want something, go get it. Period!” This dialogue from the movie showcases the core theme, determination. The movie is a blend of many other themes like fortitude in the face of hardships, survival, and courage.

“The Pursuit of Happyness” is the retelling of the same old story of the American Dream through the eyes of Italian director Gabriel Muccino. The movie opens in 1981, San Francisco. Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith) is struggling because he had invested all he had on portable bone density scanners. What he thought would change his and his family’s life turns out to be the cause of his struggles. He has to sell three scanners a month to provide for his wife Linda (played by Thandie Newton), and five-year-old son Christopher (played by Jaden Smith).The product that he has to sell in order to survive is considered as an “unnecessary luxury” by the physicians as it is much more expensive than the X-ray machines.

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His wife Linda has to work double shifts to meet the basic requirements of the family which strains their relationship even more. The financial struggles make Chris realize that selling the scanners was not the solution to his problems. He decides to switch careers. He takes up a six month unpaid internship at a brokerage and securities firm “Dean Witter Reynolds”. The firm took on only twenty interns, and at the end of the internship would hire one out of the twenty. Linda is not happy with this decision and eventually leaves for New York to work. Christopher stays with his dad.

Linda leaving is just the starting of the setbacks in Chris’s life. Soon his account is garnished by the IRS because of unpaid taxes. Chris and his son get evicted with only $21.33 left in his account. From spending the night in the restrooms to living in homeless shelters, Chris faces it all with courage. He has to sell the remaining of his scanners to survive while working as an intern. Chris manages to hide his financial situation form his superiors and somehow makes it through the six months. He is finally called for a meeting that will decide his fate in the firm. When he is informed that he has secured the position Chris finds it hard to fight back tears. He runs to his son’s day care and hugs him.

Mick LaSalle has rightly said that the film’s beauty lies in its honesty. Italian director Gabriel Muccino has proved his potential with the story portrayed in a way that it all ties together. The movie is backed up by a strong screenplay written by Steven Conrad. The performances by the actors, especially Will Smith, has won over the hearts of the viewers. Will Smith has added his charisma to the character which has helped in making Chris an inspiring character instead of being a character people only sympathize with. His chemistry with his real life son, Jaden Smith, has added to the magic. In the words of director Gabriele Muccino. The movie plays like a love story. But in this case we don't have a woman and a man meeting each other. Instead, we have a father and son walking together through life.

The movie has the premise of rags to riches story which puts a lot of pressure on it. It has to be different than what has already been told. The movie fairs well but is mostly because of the skills of the lead actor Will Smith. The title of the movie suggests that it would be an uplifting one. It seems like one of those movies about a character’s journey to being happy. But in the entire movie the storyline sets a grim tone with happiness striking at the very end. The director has also taken the liberty of adding a few things that didn’t happen in reality like the scene with Chris solving the Rubik’s cube in a taxi. Though, the scene doesn’t harm the story in any way.

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Film Report on Gabriel Muccino’s Masterpiece The Pursuit of Happyness. (2021, February 22). WritingBros. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from
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