The Pursuit of Happyness was a commercially successful film whose main appeal is its ‘feel-good’ ending. It treads the much worn path of the rags-to-riches narrative, albeit with some variations in plot, characterization and context. This paper would argue that despite the commercial success of the film, it fails as a social instrument. In other words, if the purpose of cinema is not merely to entertain but also to educate, the Pursuit of Happyness fails on the latter count.
The main criticism is toward its core message that among the thousands of honest aspirants for the American Dream only a few lucky ones make through. The final shot of the film is not merely the triumph of its protagonist, but equally the defeat of multitudes of his brethren. The defeated cannot said to have all been less industrious than our hero. Luck plays a major role in deciding who succeeds. One also needs to question the kind of culture in which the odds are so stacked that . . . Read MoreContinue Reading