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Things start looking up for Gardner when he applies for an internship with a stock brokerage firm.
Anyone who is familiar with Gardner’s story, which was featured on the ABC news program 20/20 in 2003, will not be surprised at the way the film ends.
However, I found myself wanting to see more from the latter part of Gardner’s life.
Though most scenes in the film have a very solemn feel, Smith’s cautious optimism and ambitious nature make us want to root for him to succeed.
In a role that could have easily been played syrupy-sweet, Smith instead chooses to let his raw emotions shine through adding a layer of realism. Portraying a child whose life and economic background is so completely opposite from his own doesn’t seem to be a challenge for the young actor.
He seems to have a true understanding of the character’s emotional state and expresses it with ease.
Newton also provides a noteworthy performance as Gardner’s wife who becomes so emotionally distressed she makes the difficult choice to abandon her child.Once his nagging wife Linda (Thandie Newton) leaves Chris and their son Christopher (Jaden Smith, Will’s own son), Chris realizes he has to make a change in their lives.While doing his mundane task of walking the streets of San Francisco, California to sell his machines, Chris happens upon a very nice sports car.Will Smith fulfills an unprecedented roll of Chris Gardner.Although my opinion might be a bit biased towards him because he is one of my favorite male actors, Will Smith inarguably surpassed my expectation for his character.Instead, it is a touching fictional portrayal of a problem that is all too real.Chances are that this is not a film that you will quickly forget.While promoting the movie recently, Newton said she wanted audiences to identify with her character’s profound pain rather than flippantly writing her off as an uncaring shrew.Her depiction of the troubled woman walks a fine line between the two.I guess that is why the film is titled Though we do learn what became of him, we never get to see much of the joy that comes from Gardner’s struggles.For this reason, the movie is not a feel-good picture that will leave you with the warm fuzzies.