Monday, 27 September 2010

Cinema Review: Eat Pray Love

Based upon the autobiography of writer Elizabeth Gilbert, Ryan Murphy's Eat Pray Love depicts the story of one woman's attempt of self discovery after her grim divorce and realization that life itself has slowly slipped from her grasp. Seeking balance and spiritual awakening, she spends a year traveling around Italy, India and Bali.

American sweetheart Julia Roberts takes the role of the damaged, almost lifeless Gilbert in her stride, with a certain responsibility placed upon her delicate shoulders to respect the true-life protagonist and the source material from which she, and her experiences, spawned. Undoubtedly carrying her roles with enthusiasm and an eagerness to form a connection with both her characters and the audience, Elizabeth's trials and heavy-handed tribulations through relationships and everyday life can be mirrored against the film's target audience, therefore, the tagline "let yourself go" couldn't be more fitting. While being a tad lengthier than your average-ordinary romance, it carries a weight most also wouldn't find.

Swept away on a life-alternating trip, Liz's feelings of desperation and loneliness is understood tremendously by Roberts' ability to become at one with her characters. Wide-eyed and sensibly dramatic, she never bores, merely assisting the beauty of the locations she finds herself in. The wondrous backdrops of Italy, the harsh but enchanting spiritual temples in India and the captivating, luscious and downright bewitching landscapes of Bali; a lecture on traveling, if you will.

With the script depicting one woman's salvation to a happy life, to escape the misfortune of including far too many 'bumper sticker' insights would have been too lucky, therefore if you're looking for multiple, long-winding excuses to affirm your place in life, this is your personal ticket. Otherwise, you'll find yourself face-palming almost instantly.

Still, after everything Liz works towards -- the ability to live, happily, without a man -- is thrown out the window come the ending, proving that Eat Pray Love may just be like every other romcom (minus the com), with the endings the genre is constricted to proving slightly problematic.

While Gilbert's travels may interest only the female-orientated public, it allows them to revel in two hours of female-driven spontaneity which is unarguably feel-good. Roberts illuminates the screen, the cinematography knee-quivering and the story is universal. It may stray from the source material, but it never refrains you from the delightful after taste Eat Pray Love is bound to leave you with.


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