This film would be yet another way to say to someone: have to courage to move forward. But I am digressing already. Eat Pray Love is a book I read years ago, written by Elizabeth Gilbert, and recounting her story, that I strongly recommend. So I was very happy when I learned it was going to be adapted as a movie, with Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem. Released in 2010, I only got around to watching it two days ago.
Liz Gilbert lives in New York and is married to Stephen. One day she just realizes she is stuck in a life she hates, and that she needs to find the right path. She embarks on a one-year long journey to find herself : 4 months in Italy to learn Italian and eat gorgeous food, four months in India to learn meditation, et four months in Bali to find inner peace, and discover that loving someone does not always mean having to make sacrifices.
Everyone can watch this movie but not just anyone will enjoy it.
I have seen comments saying Liz Gilbert is selfish and too focused on herself. Maybe but…. Who isn’t.
After all, how many people feel trapped in their current life, and actually do something about it?
If you are the person left behind, of course you are entitled to feeling betrayed, but all in all, I sincerely think one needs to be at peace with oneself, to better understand and connect with others.
Critics say the movie is far from the book. I agree. Yet these days I am prone to seeing or hearing about stories that are about new beginnings, and I found it inspiring. I think it would be inspiring to a lot of people.
Liz feels trapped, has no balance in her life, and it all comes down to this : it you do not love yourself, how can you love others ?
Felipe: Listen, balance, my darling, is not letting anybody love you less than you love yourself.
So she goes on this journey to learn how to love and how to forgive herself. Liz feels empty and at some point it is a question of survival – so she hurt people but I do not think there was a chioce. In the end she finds the right balance but gets scared of falling in love again because she is scared she will lose what it took months to find.
As Ketut put it :
Ketut: Sometimes to lose balance for love is part of living a balanced life.
Because here is the final lesson here : life is not perfect and the balance gets thrown off on occasions, you just need to be aware of it and just be resilient and adaptable.
Personally my idea has always been that things tend to work themselves out, but one needs to be willing to do it, and help it a little. As they say in French: “Aide-toi, le Ciel t’aidera”
Of the people Liz met, the characters played by Richard Jenkins as Richard from Texas and Javier Bardem were the most interesting. I liked Ketut the healer from Bali a lot, he is the one I found most inspiring. Note an appearance by James Franco, as Liz’s “rebound” in New York – a brief, torrid affair before she goes on her journey.
Happy ending for everyone, and the wish for me to do the same! Finishing with Javier Bardem happily ever after a bonus, but unrealistic. Food for thought: the happy ending may just be picking up the pieces and starting over, a new beginning.
Liz: Maybe my life hasn't been so chaotic. It's just the world that is and the only real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.