Or should I write “Happyness” as the film is titled? It has been some time since I last watched a film that moved me so deeply and have made me really stop and think about what we all want in life and what we work so hard for, Happiness…
Being based on a true story, a time in the life of Chris Gardner, the film has a different taste to your usual morally strong, socially oriented films. The knowledge that this has actually happened to someone, that the drama is derived from real life and is not a fragment of imagination from a talented writer gives it that much more weight and that much more impact on us outside viewers.
I saw the film for the first time on my way back from Syria, I blamed an already over emotional, over active set of feeling, or maybe a horrible neighbour in the seat next to me, for crying in a plane full of people but then I realised the most of the people on the plane were trying to hide a tear or two after seeing the film! Then I accepted it as the impact of brilliant writing and acting in a very good film, there was that bit of doubt about the liberal artistic changes to the real story to fit the film, that bit more of spices to create a stronger set of feelings in the viewers but the aftertaste remained, hence when the film was out on DVD and I noticed that within the special features added there is an interview with the real Chris Gardner I couldn’t help but buy the DVD and take it home.
I watched the interview before the film and the impact was amazing, realising that there were little, or no, artistic additions to the story, that this man has actually spend nights in train station’s lavatory with his son because he had nowhere to go was shocking. To know that someone have reached that low and then managed to end on top is inspiring to say the least!
We all seek happiness; we all, whether we know it or not, work towards it and have it in our horizon in every direction we go to. A lot may disagree, may proclaim other intentions or other goals but even the most unselfish act one does are aimed to get a sense of self satisfaction and happiness for being able to help someone else.
These days, with all that is happening around us in this crazy world, happiness, very much like that blue bird over the rainbow, is hard to see, hard to find. Even if we’re happy in our personal life, we feel guilty for being happy when so many around us are so miserable, as if feeling happy is something to be ashamed of now. With life being not that simple, all that much cruel and all the more complex; being happy is reserved for simple or selfish people who can ignore that craziness!
But I disagree, pursuing happiness is part of our humanity, one of reasons for our existence, seeking happiness is the thing that drives me to wake up in the morning, to struggle with work and annoyances all day, seeing that happiness in the horizon is what gives me my will to live.
But do we ever reach that horizon? Can we ever be happy? The pursuit of happyness gives you a good clue, that one moment in the end, he calls that time Happiness! One moment when all is well, all is right, that second that is suspended in time is what it is all about! That perfect embrace, that one single kiss, the first time you hold your child or that first time to he says I love you, that is what happiness means. Don’t fall for the illusion that it will be forever and a day, it is not lasting or permanent, that happiness is reserved for that moment, and once that moment is passed, so does the happiness that came with it and all that we’re left with is a memory of that moment, that sweet aftertaste that we remember and desire for a long time to come.
But does that mean that the Pursuit of Happyness is a mirage that never lasts? Some people despair and think that is the case, some see this pursuit as waste or a fantasy that would drive you mad in the end. I beg to differ…
It is that single moment that gives life meaning, you seek it, it comes, it takes your breath away and leave you with an afterthought of warm, sweet pleasure but that is not all that it leaves you with! Like clues to a treasure, each moment of happiness points you in the direction of the one after it. The moment passes, but there is a new horizon and a new rainbow that we seek and work hard to reach, till we get to that new point of utter happiness and so on for as long as we live.
Life is all about that, moving from one point of joy to the other, remembering the ones that passed and dreaming of the ones that are on the way. The excitement of living is that we never know where the next pursuit will lead us, the possibilities are endless and we are pilgrims searching for that holy grail of endless joy. The journey is never easy, most of the time is hard, stone hard, the journey might include sleeping in the lavatory with your child or seeking shelter in a homeless home, but for all that hardship, that moment is that much sweeter and last that much longer.
In this there is the answer to whether it’s worth it or not; is something worth the heart ache, the stress, the struggle? A lucky person would say yes it is, would know that the reward is worth the price and would fight for it. A lucky person won’t take the easy way out and settle for a medium level of semi happiness just because the alternative is much harder. A lucky person would realise how precious this happiness is and realise that for their life to mean something he or she should go down that rocky road for some time to come.
Finally, a lucky person would have someone to seek that happiness with, one of those rare times in life when your walk is not a lonely one, your fight is not a me against the odds but Us against the world, for those lucky few, part of that perceived happiness is involved in the journey itself, for those lucky few, the road is as precious as the moment. For those lucky few, like Chris and Christopher Gardner, happyness is always close by…
Picture is the property of © 2006 Columbia Pictures Industries Inc