As Phileas took his seat, he wondered what the movie he had heard so much about would be like. With the busy life he led working at the store all day and night, he barely ever got time to go to the movies. But, after a long and winding day, he looked for some respite in this movie called ‘The Pursuit of happyness’. The curtain was raised, as the story of a young man named Chris Gardner, living in the midst of the depression of the 1980’s in capitalism-led San Francisco. Phileas saw Chris unfolding the story of his life before him- a life full of struggle tears and despair.
‘That feels familiar,’ Phileas wryly smiled. Chris was not able to get a good education, and amidst the economic crisis and trauma, his wife leaves him with the custody of his young boy Christopher. ‘Don’t ever let somebody tell you… You can’t do something. Not even me. All right? ‘ Chris tells his son, and Phileas is reminded of his own son Joshua, and his heart aches with the earnestness with which he wants his son to have a better life than his own. Around him, Phileas sees people in the audience, and there is a certain melancholy in the air.
Smiles, tears and glistening eyes-the atmosphere was mixture of emotions as everyone seemed to feel the sobriety. Phileas breathes heavily as he sees Chris struggle to get a place to sleep every night. Chris does not lose hope, however and applies for an unsalaried internship at Dean Witter. If he proves himself, his dream of becoming a stockbroker might come true, and he might be able to give his son life he himself never had. Phileas could see memory of images flashing before his mind, as he pictured himself working at the store….
at home, with his wife and son…there is an eerie silence…suddenly, someone screams…tears…rage…despair…. Phileas can’t take it anymore…he wants to escape…please, God… ‘The important thing about that freedom train, is it’s got to climb mountains. We ALL have to climb mountains, you know. Mountains that go way up high, and mountains that go deep and low. Yes, we know what those mountains are here at Glide. We sing about them. ’, Phileas heard a character speak, and he is brought back from his reverie.
A smile played around his wrinkled lips as he admires Chris’ wit and humor despite the troublesome times he is facing. Phileas could not help feeling guilty at how he treated his family. How often he would lay hands on them! Oh…how much he regretted that…but never changed his ways… Phileas leaned over to his left, as he saw Chris on the big screen before him. Here was a man full of belief and optimism. Here was a man who was determined to leave his yesterday behind and work for a better tomorrow. This was the story of one man’s struggle to the top.
One could not help but admire the beauty and simplicity of it all-the entire take was effortless, and the expression was truly aesthetic and beautiful. Chris is asked whether he would like to work at Dean Witter. At last! Victory! Phileas felt the warm tears rolling down his cheeks. The emotion is overwhelming. This one moment shall change Chris Gardener’s life, (and, he exclaimed, the movie is based on a true story! ). Phileas sat on his chair, spellbound by the magic and power of the human will. The audience applauded as curtains fell.
Suddenly, he felt the weight of the world lifted from his shoulders. He felt he was not alone after all. As Phileas walked out of the cinema, he put on his cap. ‘That was a most wonderful experience! ’ he thought to himself. As he waked past the street lamps, the misery he thought the world was painted with seemed to have faded away. Maybe there was hope for him after all…’maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it’, in Chris’ words. Phileas’ house appeared from behind the trees.
He had been so engrossed in his thoughts that he had not realized he had reached home already! Phileas rang the doorbell. The door opened with a creak, and his wife and son stood before him, astonished to see the tears forming in his eyes. In a sudden, inexplicable burst of emotion, Phileas hugged both of them. It was a feeling of love, warmth and hope they had not felt in a long, long time. Phileas could finally be at peace with himself. References: ‘The Pursuit of happyness (2006) Memorable quotes ‘, The Internet Movie Database, <http://www. imdb. com/title/tt0454921/quotes>
Courtney from Study Moose
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