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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Friday, February 16, 2007


I'm half way through the book which is turning out to be a tough read. Not that it badly written or anything but there are so many parts where the brutality is so excessive that you can't help but put it down. To think human beings are capable of inflicting so much pain on others. Not only grown-ups... in Chris Gardner's case he bore the brunt of an abusive step-father as a child. Yet, he survived, determined above all to be a good human being.

Mercifully, the movie movie inspired by the book does not dwell on those parts. In fact, I was dreading wathcing a picturisation of some of those entirely forgettable events. It starts with Will Smith playing Gardner - the talented salesman who seems to have more than a stroke of bad luck. He's almost driven himself to dire circumstances by investing in some bone density machines that are supposed to be revolutionary and better than X-Ray machines. Trouble is, the doctors who are supposed to be investing in them think so. Nor does his wife, who eventually walks out on him.

He knows he is on the brink of losing everything, but he is certain he will not lose his child - a role played to perfection in reel by Smith's real-life son Jaden Christopher Syre Smith. Together with his Dad, he captures the essence of life on the street. It is a stirring and soul-searching journey as Gardner works his way through an internship at a stock brokerage by clocking in the hours in novel ways. He wouldn't put the phone down, he wouldn't drink water to avoid toilet breaks, he would run to pick up his son from child-care, then run for the bus to make it in time for a room at the shelter. "This part of my life is called Running," he tells us matter of factly.

With virtually no family, friends or money, life turns out to be some Pursuit. It's got Will Smith a well-deserved Academy nomination. Winning it though will be quite another story considering he's pitted against the likes of Forrest Whittaker and Leonardo di Caprio this year.

Smith as Gardner plays his role with quiet dignity. The movie won't move you to copious tears but it will give you that ache in your heart and make you realise yet again how little it takes to be truly happy.

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