The Pursuit of Happiness
review by Neo






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Year: 2006

Box Office: US$307 million

Director: Gabriele Muccino

Producer: Will Smith, Steve Tisch, James Lassiter, Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal

Writer: Stephen Conrad

Starring: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Thandie Newton, Brian Howe, Dan Castellaneta

Genre: Inspirational True Life Story

Tagline: Happiness is for those that are willing to pursue it…

Review by Neo: Sometimes in life, we will always meet a crossroad, a moment where you sit back and long behind you, whether it is really making you happy. Happy is not simply smiling; it is a matter of a feeling, an inner feeling, and an indescribable moment that truly makes someone happy. We all have a dream, big or small, it doesn’t matter and in the course of our lives, sometimes we tend to forget that dream. Whether it is for money, survival and whatever reason, we constantly make excuses about this and that. What makes Pursuit of Happiness so real is not because it is based on a true story, but rather it explores the very notion of the struggles and the journey that it takes in someone’s pursuit of happiness. Like a quote that I recently heard, “out of difficulties makes miracles.” The harder it is to reach your goal the more satisfying it can be. For me personally, despite doing an office job for whatever reason, I have not given up my dream and writing this will not carry me towards it, but rather prepare me for any opportunities that come along.

The movie is basically about a man struggles to a goal, from selling laser scanner to an industry that considers the goods as only a luxury to losing his wife, living in the public toilets, to lining up with the homeless, this film is really a journey of survival, endurance, persistence of one’s goal and dream of happiness.

Will Smith in one of his better performances, plays a battler, a father, a fighter and a failed husband, Despite all his bad luck (especially with all those out of place parking tickets) and some out of his own stupidity and doing (leaving a laser scanner with a hippy, tax evasion to name a few), Smith is able to relate his character to the audience. As the saying goes, when you win the audience, you win their hearts. This is why when the moment, came near the end when he step in the room of all the bosses, the redness of his watery eyes, easily wins my heart and everything that goes along with it. A wonderful performance by all means and not to mention, the chemistry with his real life son (Jared Smith) is simply too natural to be true.

All in all, this is actually my second viewing of this film and it certainly does not disappoint. Sometimes, when we are busy in our lives, especially in the light of the global recession, we tend to forget what we used to dream, want and do with our lives. It is true and real that we all have to eat, work and survive, but it is important for us to keep dreaming a little, enjoy life a little more and most of all, continue and persist in what we really want in our lives. Sometimes, it really isn’t easy, and it will probably be difficult to achieve, but if the goal is to be happy, I am guessing it is the essential or perhaps the essence of life. After all, I do believe in miracles, but I also believe that you will have to work hard, before the miracle can arrives. Sure, we may not all be like Gardener, but at the end of the day, at least we can say that we tried … (Neo 2009)

I rate it 8/10

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