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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Eat Pray Love (Released in 2010) - Starring Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, Billy Crudup, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, James Franco

Eat Pray Love, previously named as “The virtues of life”, is a rom-com drama directed by Ryan Murphy, and is based on the book by the same name, written by Elizabeth Gilbert. Like the book, the movie is a memoir of the author and her exploits and experiences around the globe. Starring Julia Roberts as Liz Gilbert, the author and protagonist, the movie starts with Liz leaving behind her husband, home and a successful job, because she feels lost and confused about what she wants in life. She steps out of her comfort zone and decides to travel the world for a year. In her journeys she meets people, each of whom contribute in her quest for self-discovery. The story begins in New York and travels all the way to Italy where she spends a few months eating, then to India, where she finds solace in prayers and Indonesia where she tries to find a balance in life and falls in love with a Brazilian businessman, played by Javier Bardem.
The movie is mostly on the same lines as the book. However, it does vary in rather frustrating aspects. Where, in the book Gilbert spends only a few pages on her divorce and wanting to travel, in the movie Gilbert spends a grueling 45 minutes in New York. Consequently the viewer is silently begging her to move ahead and get on the plane out of NYC.

Gilbert then goes to Italy where she indulges in pastas like they were going out of fashion. But, where in the book Gilbert tries to find herself and her identity in solitude, in the movie Gilbert is shown to be enjoying by socializing. From Italy, Gilbert moves to India where yet again, on the advice of someone else, she joins an ashram and tried to find strength and a sense of identity through prays. After 3 short months of inner reflection in India, she goes to Bali, Indonesia where she meets a Brazilian businessman - Javier Bardem and falls in love.
Julia Roberts does a wonderful job as a witty and exuberant Liz Gilbert. However, where it could be fun to spend a year travelling with Liz Gilbert, it isn’t much fun watching a 2 and a half hour long movie all about her and the good men thrown her way. The movie is all about Gilbert, her journey, her ambitions, and the good luck she has in finding decent men, most of whom she turns down or leaves. She funds her entire trip on an advance given to her by her publisher, who hopes a years’ worth of exploits will make a good read.
The cinematography is beautiful, with rich and exquisite landscapes shown throughout the film, especially towards the end in Bali. But the gigantic running time, tests the patience of even the most loyal viewer. Unfortunately, the movie is a long and dreary version of the book, with the spot light shining firmly on Liz Gilbert’s every whim and fancy. Worth a watch for Julia Robert fans, but be prepared to sit through the entire length of the movie, which could get tedious.

Eat Pray Love (Released in 2010) - Starring Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, Billy Crudup, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, James Franco

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