The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) Review

Verdict: Heart warming

Great acting, script and directing.


Based on a true story, Chris Gardner (Will Smith) works as a salesman trying to sell expensive ‘bone density scanner’ machines to doctors and hospitals. Unfortunately, business is slow as the machines are both expensive and not in need of. His wife Linda (Thandie Newton) does double shifts to keep them afloat and tensions constantly rise. Their son Christopher (Jaden Smith) gets caught in their argument when Linda decides to leave. But Chris doesn’t give up and chases after Jay Twistle (Brian Howe) who is CEO of a brokerage firm, and manages to get a place in an internship with the possibility of being chosen for employment at the end of 6 months. Directed by Gabriele Muccino.

This film was very inspiring and well told. I am seeing Will Smith in a whole new light after this film (this is my first time watching), and I reckon he is actually somewhat like the father he portrays in the film – seeing as his real son plays his character’s son. Anyway, Smith did really well in his role as Chris Gardner, and the expression of his emotions came across through the screen. Jaden Smith too, who was about eight years old then I think, was great. I am not such a big fan of him as he is now, but he had some good talent back then! The chemistry between father and son was perfect. Thandie Newton was good as well, you could really feel how tired and frustrated she was.

The film was also very well made and the direction was superb. Cinematography was great and captured the atmosphere greatly, with long shots of Smith running here and there.

However this film is not without it’s flaws. There are quite a lot of times throughout the film in which got me thinking, ‘why didn’t he do this, or sell that?’ I mean it is a movie (though it’s based on a true story), and I guess people do things differently and if I were in the same position I might have done the same (maybe). But it seemed like he could have avoided some situations by thinking ahead and planning stuff better. Don’t get me wrong I still think he did incredibly well seeing as he was practically running to get everywhere. I’m just thinking that maybe the film-makers added some extra drama to the character to make it worse, to enhance this story of the American Dream. As inspirational as this film is, it probably only happens to one in a million people; the American Dream is after all, an almost impossible dream.

 To sum-up:
PROS: Story, acting, directing,
CONS: Some extra drama (?)

I give this a 8/10.

Have you seen The Pursuit of Happyness? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!


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