Thursday, October 7, 2010

EAT, PRAY, LOVE

Julia Roberts, James Franco, Javier Bardem, Richard Jenkins


Cinema 4, SM Megamall




I bought Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir/book in the hopes of finishing it before the film was shown. I still had a few pages to go but decided 'what the heck' I'll watch it anyway. I was curious about the novel as it is described as "One woman's search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia." Places which I've had the chance to visit and explore to my heart's content. In fact, I called India or specifically New Delhi home for about 4 years way back in the late 1970s.

I actually loved the book for its humorous prose. Liz's witty exuberance was infectious as she took us on a pilgrimage of self discovery. As for the movie with Julia Roberts in the lead role, I believe it was a pretty much fair adaptation of the book. Although in the film, she did come across as being too flippant for walking out of her marriage. Viewers who haven't read the book need to understand that there were various and in my opinion quite valid reasons for her to end her marriage. She didn't simply give up because she was too self absorbed and/or unhappy.

The film which spanned on for 2 hours and 20 or so minutes was a bit long to be fully appreciated. It took liberties in changing certain aspects of Liz's life to make it more appealing to the female crowd. It also banked on the unwavering charisma of Javier Bardem to boost the romantic love interest factor. Even though in the book, Felipe is supposed to be a much older Brazilian man. So it was difficult to reconcile the initial hesitation and qualms that Liz had in plunging into a new relationship.

In conclusion, I think it came across as being too much of a travelogue about a fanciful woman who had to venture into foreign shores to find happiness. For me, I would have appreciated it more if it was a thought provoking and insightful film about soul searching and self discovery. But that's just me!

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