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Role of Happiness in Chris Gardner's Story

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The meaning of happiness lies in the moments of peace after persevering through months or years of unthinkable hardships and direst stress, as they try to see the light in the end of the dark tunnel. These moments have been beautifully created through this movie. It portrays the dream that thousands have felt through the biography of Chris Gardner’s inspiring life as he struggles to make ends meet in San Francisco with his wife and kid. It is a tremendously compelling and heartfelt drama. Will Smith gives a fantastic performance that carries this film. The story is both sad and inspiring and keeps us stressed throughout the entire film.

Gardner invested all of his savings into the clunky machines that could measure bone density; his main job was to drag them around San Francisco and advertise it to the physicians in town. As the time progresses, his sale decreases. While he has stressful relations with his wife, Gardner is determined to fight all odds and come out victorious. Their rent bills kept being unpaid, until one night, everything seemed to go haywire. His wife left him for a job, his landlord kicked him out of his apartment, and no one seemed to need his machines anymore. Gardner hit rock bottom.

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The scene in which Gardner sat in the subway restroom and clutching his sleeping son, jobless, left me teary-eyed. The heartbreaking portrayal of emotions by Will Smith in that scene is one of the reasons this movie will always be considered one of the classics. Gardner’s only rescue was to set up camp, and survive brokering internship, which did not even pay him. To do this, Gardner had to grab the job from Dean Witter, who was the owner of the stock firm. He had a short cab-ride interview with Witter in which his curious attitude, his extraordinary skills in mathematics and solving the Rubik’s Cube was revealed. Gardner finally got the job, and dutifully ran off to get a bed in the homeless shelter for himself and his son. The scenes preceding this event beautifully bring forward the paternally protective side to the audience. It also spoke volumes of Gardner’s undying spirit to see a future for himself and his son in which they would be happy, and this goal drives him to tackle each problem head on. Gardner teaches his son as well as to the audience that despite every possible thing that went wrong in Gardner’s life, he never stopped trying for his son’s bright future.

For Gardner, the Pursuit of Happyness is actually the pursuit of perseverance in the face of ever-mounting odds. It is the unfailing paternal power that Will Smith masterfully depicts through the midlife crisis of Chris Gardner. Although the climax of the movie is predictable yet resoundingly proved this correct, as Witter came up to Gardner on the final day of his internship to announce that he had gotten the job. It was a moment of pure ecstasy that the audience silently awaited. Will Smith as well as the audience clapped and wept silent tears. The pain that Gardner went through is what makes this movie honest and touching, and what distinguishes it from the rest of the typical movies. In my opinion, Gardner beautifully answered what the meaning of true happiness was. It was that moment of respite, of stability, that Gardner experienced as he pulled himself and his family one step closer to a happy ending.

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