“The Pursuit of Happiness,” a biopic about a homeless man named Chris Gardner. He spent all of his savings on portable bone density scanners that were supposed to make him rich. Instead, it turned into his life support because many medical fields didn’t need such devices. He lost his wife and his home as financial pressures mounted. He is not paid for his internship at a brokerage firm. He refuses to accept financial hardships and tries to make his life better by trying different ways to make money. Gabriele Muccino is the director of this movie. He is an Italian film director who became a successful American filmmaker. This biopic is about Chris Gardner’s struggles as a single homeless father.
News reports about poverty are often not reported and, even if they are, often the severity of the situation is ignored. I have seen the extremes of these situations through my volunteer experiences. One of those was volunteering to help the poorest people in Cambodia when I was Secondary 3. This movie shows the extreme poverty of those living in poverty.
This film’s overall theme is poverty. This theme is mine because it depicts the struggle of poor people without financial aid and the hardships that the father had to go through in order to provide shelter, food, and water for his son.
The movie brought back memories of my father’s past experiences. I was reminded of these moments when Chris Gardner tried to sell his scanners while walking door-to-door in medical buildings. These were the experiences that made me realize the burden and stress my father’s job placed on him, to the point where my father became ill. Even though my financial history was not as portrayed in the movie it made me appreciate all that he gave me, even the smallest things like electricity and water. As my father’s son, I must repay them by making sure that my family is well-fed and educated. My mother has been working hard for 18 years. It is my responsibility to help her by mopping the floors during my free time. I should encourage my parents to do these small things, as they will be able to better manage the stress of raising children. I was also reminded of the value of time by watching this film. It made me realize how precious time is and reminds me to treasure the moments I do have with my family. After seeing the movie, it made me feel the urge to spend more time with my family and to talk to them than to stay in my room playing my games. You can always stop playing games later but time spent with my family is precious and should be treasured. I have come to understand the gravity of poverty through my experiences in Cambodia. However, I find myself waiting for my school’s permission to host this kind of volunteer work. The thought of finding such opportunities for myself has never crossed my mind. I know there are still many people in need of our assistance. Joining volunteer groups at nearby community centers will help me take the first step towards helping those in need.
A person who is financially unable to support themselves because of poverty is called it. As someone who comes from a decent family, I have never had to depend on the government for financial support. However, the scenes in the movie where Chris attempted to enter a shelter for homeless people, but it was full, got me thinking about how the government helps the homeless and financially poor. Due to many TV shows that portray America as a dream nation, I always believed that America would be nearly free from poverty. A search on the US Census Bureau revealed that 15% of its citizens live in poverty. People in America are living in poverty, just like Chris in the movie. Four-person families earn less than $23,000 per year, and half of American jobs pay less than $34,000 annually. It was an unexpected discovery for me. I realized that poverty in America is a difficult issue to solve if decent wages are not being paid to these people. It isn’t just an American problem, it is a global issue. Referring back to my experience in Cambodia, I can see that Cambodians survive on agriculture which doesn’t even pay a decent salary. The education system in Cambodia is also being undermined. Only 37.1% can read, write, and speak. As in the movie scene where Chris was asked to fill out his resume with information about his education and he replied that he didn’t need as many lines, today there are many countries lacking education. Countries like Cambodia and China contribute to low wages and insufficient job opportunities that pay decent salaries. This movie can be a link to poverty in our society today.
The director intends to tell Chris Gardner’s story of poverty, as this film is a biopic about Chris Gardner. But I believe there is an undercurrent intention to the movie. The director may not only want to show how far parents will go to provide for their children’s needs, but also to demonstrate that perseverance and determination can lead to life-changing opportunities.
The movie’s costumes are based on Chris Gardner’s actual life. They range from formal wear for work to rough clothes worn by homeless people. It is subtle how the make-up looks, such as homeless people getting dirt and sand all across their faces and arms. This plays an important part in displaying their social status.
This movie portrays the behavior of the character realistically. For example, Chris is left limping after he was hit by a vehicle and left with a broken leg. Chris and the homeless man fought for the shelter’s vacant spot. Chris displays a nervousness so much that his manager called him to set up a meeting. This will determine his future job.
The movie was shot in San Francisco. Most scenes were filmed on location, which gives the movie a more real feel. Chris was chased by a taxi driver and forced to run through a park to avoid him. Chris was selling bank accounts to customers in order to secure his job. The office’s small size creates a feeling of pressure and stress.
Many props played a major role in the movie. One of the items was the rubric’s cube. It plays an important part in impressing Chris and allowing him to get an interview for his job. The scanner is another prop, which can be described as Chris’ only financial support.
Movies like the one where Chris splashes water while he bathes or the door crashing when the son and father are sleeping in the public bathroom make the movie more real and inclusive. The movie’s non-diegetic sounds, such as the melancholic background song that Chris hears when he loses his scanner in the subway, have an emotional effect on viewers and help them to become absorbed in it. Chris tried to study in dim lighting while he was at the shelter for homeless. The contrast in the lighting made it difficult for viewers to focus on Chris as much as his surroundings.
The camera zoomed in on Chris as the father and son spent the night in the bathroom. This allowed viewers to see Chris’s shock and helplessness. The camera pointed at Chris from the top, making it seem vulnerable and helpless. The camera jerked as Chris ran away from the taxi. This makes it feel like the viewer is running in the movie.
The Pursuit of Happiness is a movie that highlights the inequalities found in American society. Despite Americans believing in their economic system and the benefits it brings, the system’s functioning creates inequality and favors the white. To illustrate the inequality of the system, the director used Gardner’s example. Gardner, despite his great skills and determination, is unable find a job that will allow him to provide for his family.