Yes, it’s happyness. The Pursuit of Happyness (TPOH) is based on a true-story and is about a father’s love for his son, his struggle to make ends meet, and his pursuit of happiness. Will Smith plays Chris Gardner, Thandi Newton plays his wife,
Jackie Linda, and Smith’s son in real-life, Jaden, plays their son Christopher.
The movie is paced perfectly and the script (by Steve Conrad) never fails to hook you from the beginning and hold your attention. Plus, even though the movie is about a real-life struggle, the story is told without over-dramatising or being overly sentimental. Beautiful.
The characters are real, believable, and you empathise with them–something that looks deceptively easy to do but is extremely hard to pull off. While the movie concentrates on Chris Gardner, the other characters are used economically and are portrayed realistically. The background score and the settings (1980s San Francisco) make this movie a memorable experience.
Will Smith is the star of the movie and plays the part of Chris Gardner to perfection–you can feel his dispair and anguish. While he may not have got the Oscar this time around, you get the feeling that he will sometime soon.
Thandi Newton is very good as the disillusioned wife who’s tired of the constant struggles to make ends meet.
Smith’s son Jaden is superb–he makes you laugh, he makes you feel sad, and he is perfect for the role. Amazing that he’s just a child–watch out Dakota Fanning.
TPOH is not one of those movies that will have you gushing right after, but it is a movie that will stay with you long after you’ve left the theatre. For me, that’s a good reason as any to watch The Pursuit of Happyness.
–Updated a few minutes later to correct the name of Thandi Newton’s character–