This movie deserves a review (and possibly a debate). I read the book three years ago and was not very impressed by it. It is a fun read as long as you don’t read too much INTO it – just read it. It is not as shallow as Nicholas Sparks and not as dense as Paulo Coelho. It is a chatty book about a woman who seeks more from herself, her life and people around her, than other women. I did not relate to Liz Gilbert in the book, but I related to her observations. I related to the questions she often asks herself. So that was what I felt the book was about. It had NO messages. NO agendas. It was a chatty cheerful summer read.
Last week I saw the movie EPL – which is an adaptation of the book. Have any of us ever seen a fine book made into a fine movie? Please comment here and name them for me if you can. I think it has become a fad to say, “it is not as good as the book.” Let us pause and give these directors some credit. The challenge for them is not just to make a movie with a story. But to take a story, compress it, present it with the same crispness to it — the one that made youlove the book — is like taking last night's curry and making it taste as fresh as one made right off the stove. Tough Job!
I am not a big fan of Ryan Murphy – he does not have exceptional directorial skills. He is a run of the mill director who has capitalized on the EPL phenomenon. Was the movie hyped? Yes. Did the he hype the movie? No !! the PR folks hyped the story and the character of Liz Gilbert – not the movie. Was Julia looking good? Yes. Exceptional? No . Is she a fine actress ? If you are still thinking – leave now.
The movie for me – is not about “are we like Liz?” or “should we be like Liz?”, but rather about how Liz went about seeking answers to the internal conflicts she was going through in life. If you are a woman and reading this – please don’t tell me you have never been in a situation where you threw your hands up in the air and said this to
God (or whoever is out there) – ” Just tell me what to do. Give me a sign.” Liz asks the same question. For her to even begin understanding how she got where she was – is to disconnect and indulge in something completely different – and that happened to be herself. Is she self obsessed? No. She is realizing what it is to love oneself. I don’t think you can love anyone, if you have not learnt to love yourself. Right ?
Some people argue that she is stupid because she went around the world, “looking for happiness”. And I ask, what if, instead of taking a trip to some fabulous countries – she had taken to pottery making or dance lessons, or an extreme work out schedule? Would you approve of that? It was her way of resolving her internal conflicts — why should that be silly? Or rather how can it be silly? Don’t we all resolve conflicts, one way or the other? So why focus on the means – and ignore the end.
For me EPL is all about “you gotta figure it out baby” – no one else is going to figure it out for you. So do what it takes! And for those who want to ask what the hell is “it”. “It” is being in the present – and not looking for miracles to happen in the future. Do you practice that? If yes – Congratulate yourself. If not – then join the club.