The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Will Smith has this knack at playing in movies both action-packed and hard-hitting. Sometimes he plays a warrior in the wasteland, other times an FBI agent hunting aliens, other times, however, he portrays a simple role: that of a father desperate to make ends meet caring as best he can for his five-year old son. In such roles we see him show-off his skills during such emotional threads we can’t help but appreciate his talents.

Chris Gardner (Will Smith) lives in a shabby apartment with his five year old son, increasingly hostile wife, and a multitude of medical machines he has a harrowing time selling. To make ends meet he and his wife work hard in the same vein of labor which would make the old-time conservative writer Mr. Hartio proud; this is to say they do not give up and struggle to make ends-meet eventually landing a lucrative gig. The tale is one of diligence, never giving up but above all, poverty.

Hawking his machines, however, is difficult. Considered a luxury by many hospitals they are overpriced contraptions which offer little improvement over cheaper models. Yet Mr. Gardner is a sharp salesman. He knows his job well and possesses a silver tongue to boot. So he doesn’t starve yet even so his bank-account is dry. One day, while traveling to a potential client, he makes the brash decision to seek a position as an unpaid intern with a major stoke-brokering company. Fed up with his actions, however, his wife leaves him.

What follows is a tale of hardships. Moving from apartment to apartment he and his son endure the burden of institutionalized poverty and are forced to even camp out in a public restroom for the night. He applies himself to the struggle to attain his desired employment and pushes himself to places he never thought possible.

Indeed it is a heart-warming tale. It is one for fathers, those single-parents so often overlooked in the chaos of maternity. Directed with emotion and backed by a heavenly musical composition. Little mishaps litter the film but the actors are at their prime. That being said there are no major mistakes and nothing which singles it out as an unbearable experience. In all this is work of cinema not to be forgotten.

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