Not really a romantic comedy or even much of a romance, but it does look at another type of love. This movie is based on one of the most inspiring books I’ve read in the same name. That book made me smile from my heart as I read through Elizabeth Gilbert’s one year journey in 3 different countries.
Director: Ryan Murphy
Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) is unhappy with her life, but more specifically with her marriage. One night she can’t take it anymore and sits on my bathroom floor in tears and prays for the first time to God in desperate need for him to tell her what to do. A voice tells her to go back to bed and her husband wakes up and says that he doesn’t want to go on a trip and she says she doesn’t want to be married anymore. This starts her long harsh divorce, the one which a few months ago in Bali, a guru, Ketut, told her that she would lose all her money and then get it all back. In the middle of getting a divorce, she meets David (James Franco), a guy who is acting her piece and they get into a relationship. However, soon after, she realizes that isn’t right for her either and she finally decides that she wants to pursue what she’s always wanted in life: to travel and at the same time, find herself again. She decides that for the following year she will first travel to 4 months in Italy and learn Italian and eat great Italian food, then go to India to meet a guru and pray and meditate, and then her last stop is Bali, where she will find Ketut (the same guruwho predicted she would lose all her money) and learn from him as he promised the last time they met. Its there she spontaneously meets Felipe (Javier Bardem), a man who has gone through a bad divorce and also doesn’t know how to love again.
The book that is movie is adapted from is probably one of the best books I’ve read. I know that some people question the authenticity of the novel but whether it actually happened or not is not as important to me as the concept behind it. The idea of learning to find balance within yourself and truly learning to love yourself, learn from your mistakes but forgive yourself for them as well and learning to move on. However, that part is for a book review.
I have to say that this movie is decent as a standalone movie. The shoots of landscape and scenery are absolutely beautiful. It made me want to buy a plane ticket, hop on a plane and just travel to Italy. Especially because I’m a huge food addict, the food shots in Italy was to die for. The temple where Elizabeth stays in on her stay in India is pretty detailed. I’ve never been to India but I’d imagine a temple and meditation and rooms would look something like that. It shoots the streets going into the temple, the outside chaos and in some areas, extreme poverty. The devastation she had from the relaxing and breathtaking Italy to a loud and hectic India. When she goes from India and departs for Bali, we get back into a balance of the two.
Julia Roberts does a fantastic job in this movie. When she sits on the bathroom floor and prays for the first time, you can feel how desperate and confused she is. How she doesn’t know how to make a choice anymore. When she travels, you can see her breeding into a true Italian as she captures the essence of speaking your hands to support your words. In India, how the sudden change affects her character and reflects eventually her struggle to find peace because she hasn’t forgiven herself and learning the whole meaning of praying. When she reaches Bali, her character is learning to find balance from the two places she had traveled before and when she suddenly meets Felipe. Here Julia Roberts does a great job at showing us this struggle as she feels her life go out of balance and not knowing exactly how to balance loving herself and loving someone else.
This movie is the first time I’ve seen Javier Bardem. He is a fantastic actor, even though he was only in pretty much a third of the movie. Also, Richard Jenkins who plays Richard in Texas in India is worth a mention because he does a great supporting role as a man who tries to help Liz get over her problems and see herself for who she is.
However, if you want to be truly inspired, I really suggest to read the book. The movie doesn’t really portray it that well. But it does take out the essential quotes of the book and put it in as Elizabeth narrates some parts in the background.
And I leave you with this:
“Sometimes to lose balance for love is part of living a balanced life.”-Ketut Liyer
“In the end, I’ve come to believe in something I call “The Physics of the Quest.” A force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity. The rule of Quest Physics goes something like this: If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.” - Liz Gilbert
I’m a huge fan of Julia Roberts. I’ve liked almost all her movies (that I’ve seen). Are you a fan of her? Which movies did you like the most?
Have you seen this movie? Did you enjoy it?
P.S. My first post after its entered Valentine’s Day! Just a warning that I will be overloading you with Valentine’s Day posts. I have at least one more movie review, Valentine baking and a little special something. I’m putting it all together right now. By the morning, the first of those posts should be up also.
Happy Valentine’s Day!