Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In Haste: Eat, Pray, Love

I walked into this movie fueled by the preconceived notion that I would never be an advocate for such a film as this.

Let me tell you why.
Photo may be unrelated to discussed film

From the trailers alone, I was quite confident that this little tour of the prettiest aspects of Italy, India and Bali would result in a woman 'finding her way'.  I also presumed that this way would be full of trite sayisms about how there is bits of beauty in everything, and that the key to it all is just to be 'true to yourself'.

All this I had foreseen before I walked into that room.  Mind you, I didn't come to these conclusions because I'm a great prophet.  No.  I saw it coming because I was assigned Henri Ibson's "A Doll's House" as mandatory reading three times during my educational career.  Hopefully you understand what the ramifications of such indoctrination are.

So, was I right?
Yes.  Yes I was. 

What I didn't predict was that the script was devised by a smart person.  We meet many people who are intriguing, genuine characters.  They fill my cup half way full with real tenderness and care.  Furthermore, the direction was adept throughout the picture show.

There's a simple, depressing melody that slithers through the first half of the film.  It's the chorus for the ruin of Liz's (our heroine) life.  In India, she suddenly is forced to face her past; to face her depressing chorus.

She commits herself to an imaginary dance with her ex-husband.   She dumped him some months back.  While they dance, she makes peace with him.  She comforts this mirage by whispering that she did love him.  Past tense.  I never understood how that was supposed to be comforting.  We never again here the lachrymose anthem.  She has cleansed her palette of it. 
Elephants are awesome.

Liz then finds new love in Bali.  Throughout the film she meets delightful men.  She meets people that only ever want the best for her.  No one is motivated by a lustful gaze at the beautiful Julia Roberts.  No.  The men in this world are kind and soothing and altogether lovely. 

And so, in the end, Liz is brave enough to love.

I'm left still asking, "Why should I trust you?  Your love fades."

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