I hadn't been to see a really good movie for far too long. A coworker recommended The Pursuit of Happyness to me and it seemed intruiging, not at all like the usual tired romantic comedies and action movies that parade endlessly across the silver screen.
The premise is simple: Will Smith plays a hardworking father that wants to provide a better life for himself and his family. Trapped in a dead-end independent sales position, he discovers the potential of a career as a stock broker, and it seems like a dream come true. But it is a faint and distant dream, seemingly not for the likes of him. His bitter struggle to grasp hold of his dream before it escapes is both horrifying and inspirational.
The perpetually-goofy Will Smith is not someone you'd expect to see in a movie like this, but he carries the weight of the entire movie much like Tom Hanks carried Cast Away, and he does it so well that you have to wonder whether he's acting at all. The direction is great: elements are introduced, played upon, and then reveal their importance in a grand dance of interconnected pieces. One small thing that struck me is that even though Will Smith is black and most of the people at the brokerage are white, race is not made much of as an issue. It's not even mentioned at all, which makes Mr. Smith into an almost-unseen type of character: the heroic man with whom everyone can identify.
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