Many critics including Owen Gleiberman (Entertainment Weekly), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) and Michael Phillips (Tribune) have hailed Will Smith’s performance as Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness and I will have to agree. Smith who has been stereotyped for roles that exude witty arrogance and street smart cutie comedy knocked the movie world off its feet with a role that is completely opposite the ones he has portrayed in the past. This movie truly proves how great an actor he actually is.
His eyes and face were exceptionally expressive of his character’s feelings of despair and yet his overall performance emits genuine strength. Gleiberman praises the film makers for being detailed as in from the amount of Gardner’s bank account to his taxes and every other nitty gritty thing that happened to him but I would have to agree with Phillips that the producers really went for an overkill regarding his bone density scanner problems.
It may or may not have happened but finding scanners you lost twice and getting them back so easily can be quite too much. Philipps also mentioned that the soundtrack was not good. I will have to agree because the musical selection was literally depressing. The moods of the scenes were already too dramatically heavy and music could have lightened it up. The director’s general idea, of course, was to make the audience feel the emotions of the characters. However, just like anything that depresses you, it gets boring unless you find a way to lighten things up.
Since the script could not have done it, the music should have been able to resurrect the mood of the scenes. Overall, the movie is good because of the moral values it promotes about parenting and personal realization. Even if it was obvious that Hollywood dabbed its fingers to make some scenes more dramatic compared to what may really have happened, the film is able to convey its message of how reality can bite and how much one can actually chew to make his dreams come true. Good enough and kudos to Will Smith for a spectacular performance!