Mar 30, 2008

A Movie worth the tears you withhold

Here comes my first movie review(there were others before but this one's solely mine) & I'm glad it's about a movie I'd love watching twenty years down the line; whatever I am, wherever I am. Anyway it's about "
The Pursuit of happYness (2006)" (if you think I dunno the spelling of Happiness, think again). For a kid who grew up watching Will Smith as an action hero in flicks like Independence Day, Men In Black, Wild Wild West, an eye-opener of a fact- Will Smith is more than an action hero. A few days ago I was reading where I don't remember that Tom Cruise is without doubt a Great star but would never make a good hero. I would've assumed the same of Will Smith, but thanks to POH my opinion has changed.

Coming to the plot, it's simple and straight-forwardly the real life story of Chris Gardner (a self-made millionaire, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and philanthropist). Most of the events in the movie are based on the real events in Gardner's life, let it be his acute poverty or his homelessness or his wife leaving him when he was broke. The pathos of the characters was masterfully projected on reel and the Director Gabriele Muccino deserves a round of standing ovation for that, including Will Smith of course, for him it's a “role-of-a-lifetime” portrayal. Screenplay by Steven Conrad is particularly heart-touching.

Director Gabriele Muccino makes the most of Steve Conrad's screenplay to give one of the most memorable films of all time, working around the predictability of a rags-to-riches narrative (a broke-to-broker story rather). Will Smith breathes life and spirit into the role, underplaying it with the right nuances, toning down the histrionics just a little to make it realistic. Watch him break down softly in the restroom, feeling helpless about letting his son sleep there, with people knocking the doors into the night. Simply fantastic! There are quite a number of frames when you have to hold back your tears(and I was constantly turning in Venki's direction to see if he shed any). Like for instance, when Will Smith and his son(though his wife leaves him, his son stays with him all through) had to take shelter for the night in an Underground Metro Restroom when for the first time Smith is shown crying( the second time however, is when he succeeds in his Pursuit of HappYness).

For the most part of the movie Smith is a businessman trying to sell Bone-Density scanner machines to customers, the investment of a venture into which goes all his life's savings. One day when standing outside a general hospital in San Francisco , he asks an impeccably-dressed Happy looking man in a Ferrari what he did for a living. The man replied that he was a stock broker . An intelligent man that he was, Gardner made up his mind that he would be a stock broker someday, and decided about that, he sets off to
Dean Witter Reynolds ( better known now as Morgan Stanley), a very famous stock brokerage firm in those days. They recruit wannabes for a 6-month internship for no pay or stipend during the period(in the real story it was a stipend of $1000 a month, which was scarce anyway) after which the best one out of 20 landed with the firm.

His lack of salary and failure to sell more scanners leaves him riddled with debt, he and his son eventually becomes homeless. After spending several nights riding buses and sleeping in subway restrooms, saddled with their meager belongings, they begin lining up at the Glide Memorial Church on a daily basis in an effort to secure accommodations for the night. Sometimes they succeed, other times they literally are left out in the cold.

As he struggles to provide a semblance of a family life for his son under the most dire of circumstances, Chris becomes more determined to complete the intern program and become the sole trainee the firm hires. He arrived at the office early and stayed late each day, persistently making calls to prospective clients with his goal being 200 calls/day. He would not drink water during office hours as it forced him to spend time in the loo. His perseverance paid off when, in 1982, Gardner passed his licensing exam on the first try and he came into the full employ of the firm.

As he comes out of the office six months later with his job offer in his hands he utters the partial phrase “This part of my Life is called ..........” but venki already had the answer....

Mr. Chris Gardner, who inspired the making of the movie

I regret not watching this movie before, don't give yourself a chance to regret later. Download and watch right away


Plz lemme know if any links in my blog don't work.

Rate my Review :


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