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The Pursuit Of Happyness - With A Free Essay Review

Michelle Chin; Eng 2145; March 19, 2012

The Pursuit of Happyness; Starring Will Smith; Directed by Gabriel Muccino

My report will analyze how Gabriel Muccino used music, conversations and camera shots in the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” in order to keep the audience focused on the theme of the movie. Each song was done according to the scene they covered. The camera shots and angles complemented the content of each shot that portrayed layers of emotion and dedication effectively. The conversations Chris had with his son showed the love and bond between them in every scene of the film even though they were experiencing difficulties. The movie was inspired by a true story of a man named Christopher Gardener played by Will Smith, and costarred his son Jayden Smith who played the role of Chris Gardner Jr. the son of Mr. Gardener. Director Gabriel Muccino focused on how a father and his son struggled through extreme financial difficulties including being homeless and the inability to provide the basic essentials for the family. Mr. Gardener invested all of his life savings on portable bone density scanners. However, he was unable to make sales because according the doctors, they cost twice as much as regular scanners and gave the same results. Others said they had a minimal technological advancement but at a higher price, so as a result he had a very difficult time making sale on these scanners. During the time Mr. Gardener tried to sell the scanners his wife Linda played by Thande Newton, grew extremely frustrated with him and left the family after several months of hoping for things to change in their lives. A few days after his wife moved out, he lost his house, bank account and good credit. Even though his life was very difficult, the love he had for his son motivated him to work towards a better life.

One day while walking down the street in the city of San Francisco, he noticed a man nicely dressed exiting an expensive car. He decided to talk to the man to find out the kind of job that he had; so he could afford such a luxurious car. The man told him a college degree was not needed to become a stock broker; all that was required was good mathematical skills. Mr. Gardener was delighted and decided to seek more information at the office of Dean Witter and Associates. An internship program was given for six weeks with a group of twenty applicants. However, at the end of the program only one person was chosen to join the firm. Nevertheless; Mr. Gardener decided to join the program even though there was no salary during the internship. During the internship program, he sought accommodation at homeless shelters. Whenever there was no room available at the shelter he slept with his son in a public restroom. Because Mr. Gardener never gave up hope, he completed the internship program and was subsequently the one chosen to join the team at Dean Witter and Associates. He was overwhelmed with joy because he knew he was now able to provide for his family.

According to an article posted in the New York Times on December 15 2006 written by Manohla Dargis; Gardener’s journey is similar to the many people’s idea of the American dream. His pursuit of happiness becomes interchangeable with his desire for money. Although he wanted a better life for him and his son, he often yearns for a life of luxury and the expensive cars he stopped and admired on the streets during the movie. His wife’s betrayal was a result of his idea to invest all of their lives savings on their scanners while she was forced to work two shifts at a dead end job (Dargis)

In a journal written by Michael Janusonis, The Pursuit of Happyness is viewed as a good movie. Will Smith played the role of Chris Gardener very well; he faced the harsh reality of the American dream, and discovered an uplifting lesson in the dedication he showed in making a better life for himself and his son. It was based on a true story of Chis Gardener’s life, a man who for every step he took in life was faced with many adversities to discourage from pursuing his dream.

Although it doesn’t sound like the making of happiness, The Pursuit of Happyness manages to be socially and heartfelt among viewers (Janusonis).

Mr. Gardener visited several doctors’ offices but was unable to sell the portable bone density scanners he had. The financial burden and tension between him and his wife dissolved his marriage. Chris’s desire is to take care of his son regardless of the hardship he faced. He did not know his father until he was twenty years old and did not want to continue the tradition. Chris applied to a stock brokerage firm, but he was told there won’t be a salary during the internship however, if he was chosen at the end of the program he would join the firm and begin to earn a salary (Moore)

Under the circumstances, many people would have given up however, Chris Gardner did not. The word “Happyness" in the title of the movie is misspelled intentionally. The “y” is written in a different color, it is meant to stand out for a reason; Happiness is going to be different for every one when it relates to their circumstances in life. According to Gardner, the film is an accurate depiction of his life twenty four years ago (Nationa Education Association ) .

Works Cited

Dargis, Manohla. 15 12 2006. article . 17 3 2012.

Janusonis, Micahel. "Happyness is Good Movie ." The Providence Journal (2006): 3.

Moore, Roger. "The Pursuit of Happyness." Knight Rider Tribune Service 12 12 2006: 3.

Nationa Education Association . "pursuit of happyness ." 115.19 (2006): 3. 18 3 2012.



You begin with a promise to examine "music, conversations, and camera shots" but the essay does not do this. You make brief mention of these elements of the movie in the first few sentences, but then move on to other matters. What you move on to is essentially a summary of the story recounted in the movie, although you also mention the true story upon which the movie was based. If you want to keep your promise, then you need to identify specific songs and explain how they relate to the theme of the movie; you need to explain how "cameras shots and angles complemented the content" of specific scenes; and you need to cite specific conversations and explain their effect. If you don't do that, then you really do just have, with the exception of two paragraph that I'll get to in a moment, a summary of the movie, and a summary doesn't really count as an essay. The summary also includes repetition, which you should try to avoid.

In the central paragraphs of the essay (the two to which I referred a moment ago) you cite first an NYT article that seems critical (although this point is not unequivocal in your essay) of the film's valorization of the American dream; you then, in the next paragraph, cite Micahel Janusonis's approval of the film, which apparently also mentions the film's treatment of the American dream. If you don't want to write an essay about songs and conversations and camera shots, you might instead want to write an essay about the American Dream in Happyness, using these two articles as your starting point. In that case, you would need to cite the articles in order to clarify exactly what the arguments being made are, and then explain which view you agree with based on your own viewing of the film.

The concluding paragraph contains a few randomly presented claims and facts about the movie. You claim that Gardner did not give up. Then you explain the misspelling of the word "happiness" (as "Happyness") in the film's title. Then you mention that Gardner found the film "an accurate depiction" of events in his life. And then the essay just stops. Generally you should try to focus in individual paragraphs on a single topic. Try to do this even (perhaps especially) in the conclusion. A conclusion in this case might aim to leave the reader with a single idea about the film's significance, or its achievement as a film. You might, for instance, use the conclusion to emphasize or clarify the point about the film that you most want to make. To do that, of course, you need to have a point to make! So before you start your revision, decide what you really want to say about the film.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: shellbell

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