The Pursuit of Happ’y’ness – Movie Review

The Pursuit of Happ’y’ness – 9/10

I have been hearing a lot about this movie and it was in my wish list for a long time. At last I watched it recently. This film is an inspiration from the life of Chris Gardner which is yet another rags to riches story. I was simply bowled over the way it has been portrayed on-screen.

Story: Chris starts his new phase of life with his wife and son. He has great concern over them, especially his son. He purchases ‘Bone Density Scanning Units’ in bulk and aims at selling them and make money. He always carries a Density Unit and keeps circling various Doctors. As a typical salesman he finds it very hard to sell them. Thus his financial tensions mount up. His wife is always discouraging and pesters him. Chris lives with the hope that everything gets settled in some days. He drops his son daily in a day care. Though the day care doesn’t have minimum standards, still he feels that it is the only finest achievement for them. Happ’y’ness is written with a mistake on a glass door of the day care. Though Chris knows that it is a spelling mistake he still feels that for him Happiness is Happ’y’ness only as it is through his achievement of joining his son in a day care.

Chris is unaware of anything else other than density units. As he finds it very much difficult to earn money this way he starts exploring new avenues. All of a sudden, he bumps into a stranger and on helping him, receives thanks. Chris asks him two questions, “What do yo do ?” and “How do you do it?”. He comes to know that the guy is a stock broker and earns around $80,000 dollars per month. On knowing this Chris also wants to become a stock broker and sees a possibility of entering as intern in that field. Getting into it is not that easy as they take only 20 Interns.

On the day of submitting the application he leaves his Density Unit at a beggar in front of the Office as he feels that carrying that would not look good. While talking to the official about the application he finds in the background glass that the beggar is running away with his unit. On seeing this Chris runs like there’s no tomorrow and at last succeeds in getting his unit after some hard trails. This shows the importance of it for him.

In the next immediate scene a contrast feature pops up in his character. He tries to get into the eyes of the guy with whom he came to know about stock broking. As that guy is busy with his works Chris offers him to share the Taxi though he has no specific work than to trap him. On their journey, he startles the stock broker with his amazing IQ in solving the Rubik Cube in just a couple of minutes. ‘Good job’ is the only appreciation he gets from him and the person leaves the taxi. Now the taxi driver asks Chris, where to go. Chris says a few yards back. On seeing that the meter reading is over 18 dollars he checks his pocket and finds that he has only 5 dollars. He starts running away from the Taxi as he doesn’t have money. Surprisingly Chris returns only to get back his forgotten Density Unit and once again runs away saying sorry to the Driver. The Taxi Driver tries to chase him out but with great difficulty Chris escapes losing his density unit in a railway station. In the earlier scene Chris chases the beggar thief but now he gets into his shoe as he has no other alternative.

Chris tells his wife about his trails for internship but on knowing that there would be no pay and only the topper gets a job after that, she ridicules him. This moves on to the stage of she leaving Chris and her son for a better job in another city.

Problems of Chris take a ride now. His house owner chases him daily for long pending rent. While he is painting his house with many stains on his dress, Police arrest him for not paying parking tax of $1200. His Internship interview is scheduled the next day. He requests them to allow him for it but they don’t listen. The moment he gets released the other day, having no time he runs for the interview. On seeing his attire, the panel feels bad. Chris tries to convince them that he has been thinking for the last 30 minutes on what to explain about his dress. He explains them that he is a person who answers NO if he doesn’t know the answer but will surely find it. The panel finally asks him a question: “What does it mean if a guy comes to an interview without a shirt ?”. Chris answers saying that, “He might be having some very nice pants”. The panel giggles and takes him as an intern.

On getting no pay from the Internship and failing to sell his units, Chris finds it hard to live without money. His house owner throws them away. Now problems propel as he and his son became homeless. Upon juggling a lot, he comes to know that there are some rooms given for homeless people everyday. But a long queue exists daily for it. If someone gets delayed in getting into the queue they might not get a room. Chris suffers with the timings. He tries to finish off his work at office quickly, pick his son and stand in the queue at time. For this he adopts some interesting techniques like, saving 20 minutes per day by not hanging the receiver on the phone every time a call is over. By not taking water at a filter near by he finds that he could save some minutes. This way he saves his time in minutes and runs from office to pick his son and stand in queue. Even on taking such great pain, he fails to get into the queue at times as his tutor uses him for personal works. Because of his tutor, Chris fails to attend a client with whom he tries to work secretly. On missing him, he goes directly to his home with his son.

The rich guy offers them to join them for a Rugby match. When he inquires about Chris’s car, his son replies saying that they do not have a car. In order to cover this thing, he fakes a pain at neck. Even upon pursuing a lot with the rich person he softly rejects against Chris’s plan. By then he returned all his density units too. But only one density unit is remaining which Chris lost at the railway station. It is with a mentally retarded person who considers it as a time machine. Once Chris tries to get him but owing to an accident misses him. When all the people who witnessed the accident are worried about Chris, he worries about his lost shoe. In such hard phase, he accidentally finds his lost density unit. He tries to sell it to a doctor but at the crucial point it doesn’t work.

Chris finds it difficult to get hold of a room daily. Even if they succeed to get one, there are many more hurdles like power goes off very early. With the dim light from a window he manages to study. Once they fail to get a room. Chris takes his son to the railway station and on not knowing where to go he gets into the toilet and locks from inside. His son sleeps on his lap. Then someone tries to open the door and on finding it locked they bang the door severely. Chris puts his leg on the door and tries to control it from opening. He cries for the first time for the situation.

Even in such hard times, he still banks on his confidence and his love for his son. On the day of his final exam after internship also, he finishes the exam very fastly in order to catch the time to stand in the queue for homeless. He repairs the density unit on his own and sells it to the Doctor for 250 dollars. Finally he succeeds in getting the job after internship.

His string of successes started here and later on he established ‘Gardner & Rich’ company and became a millionaire.

The spirit of facing bundles of problems is shown very well in the film. On knowing that it is based on a real life I got more interested and explored more details about Chris Gardner. But on reading this:

my enthusiasm toppled as most of the points in the film are work of fiction built on vague reality.

Anyways there’s still lot left in Chris Gardner’s life which is worth absorbing. Will Smith and Jaden Smith acted as Chris and his son. They did a commendable job. This film is a must watch for all the ones who love-inspiring films and who wanna achieve something big in life.

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