Tuesday, February 06, 2007

In Pursuit of Happyness




One of the best reasons to watch this film is that Will Smith is starring in it. Then there’s the fact that his own son, Jaden Smith (or Jaden Christopher Syre Smith), is also making his debut as Will’s character’s son. It’s quite obvious isn’t it? Great marketing stint. Then there’s also the lovely and ubertalented Thandie Newton as the wife who left. And finally, an all American feel good plot about how the ones who strive the hardest, gets the fattest reward. And it’s true – it’s practically inspired by a true story of
Chris Gardner, self made millionaire and founder of Gardner Rich & Co.

After reading about the film and then watching the trailer, I knew that I had to watch it for all those reasons mentioned above. But mostly, I love watching anything with Will Smith in it – they’re either fantastically hilarious or a good effort to be meaningful – think Prince of Bel Air and Bagger Vance.

Besides, I needed another boost in my work motivation as I’ve pretty much used up the pack that I got from The Devil Wears Prada, where the super work slave gets some fashion bonuses. And Happyness, is definitely a great shot for putting you back in gear for more demanding and near-impossible jobs.

Chris Gardner is a struggling salesman selling the random-est thing of all – high density bone scanner – to doctors who are not smart enough to buy it. In other words, it takes shit loads of convincing and persistence to make any cents out of it. But his wife is not as patient or optimistic as he is and decides to leave the family, entrusting their son to Chris alone. Then Chris lands this ultimate internship with a competitive stockbrokerage firm where he of course is the only candidate who passes and snags the glamorous job as a stock broker, in which he will earn lots of money and live a relatively happier live with his son. (You can read more about the film or book online. Or just go watch the film)

Of course he leads a happier life; anyone would if you’ve been homeless and seriously against all odds – then getting a 6 figure salary (my assumption) out of the sudden will definitely make you happier. Unless you’re slightly “special”.


This film naturally carries lots of values and “moral of the story” elements. It’s a reality slap for all of us who can actually afford that little movie ticket and watch the film that we’re way better off than we think and we’re still very ungrateful little pigs (or cats if you’re a Muslim) as much as we try to count our blessings. We’ve so much in our lives but we’ll never be contented – unfortunately a natural human behavior in order to survive and multiply. Sure, Chris Gardner was not contented either with his former situation and that’s why he strived so hard to achieve something for himself and his son. The film reminded me of how much more effort we could’ve put into our daily lives and our work – and actually make that difference that we’ve always talked about or secretly dismissed. It gave me that much needed boost to be excited about my job again and explore my limits to see that there’s always space for improvement and that I can always be a bit better.

They’re all old values and things that we already know; but it’s still nice to be reminded about it and know that it can actually be done. Otherwise, just take a little time travel back to the prehistoric age and have a chat with the dinos. That will definitely cheer things up or atleast give you a new perspective.

1 comment:

alicia said...

Trust you to recommend all the great movies. I just watched The Holiday over the weekend! Shall keep this in my "movies-to-watch" list! Haha!