I remember seeing several passengers on my flights with a copy of this novel in their hands while I whizzed through the aisles with my beverage trolley and I remember thinking, 'Pretty cover, but seriously I'm doing a service here and these people should at least look up from their books so I don't have to continuously repeat myself'. Then I remember hearing that Oprah added it to her list of 'Books you must read because I'm Oprah selection', (not that I watch Oprah, it's just sometimes I surf through the television channels in my hotel room and mysteriously the battery to the remote decides to die when landing on her show); I remember also talk about them turning this paperback, into a film. Wow! Kudos to Elizabeth Gilbert (whoever she was)! I wasn't interested at all still to read or watch the movie. I thought, I'm not into fiction anyway; besides, I much rather read inspirational/self-help/mystery/horror novels. But that just goes to show how funny the Universe is…anytime you say, "I'll never, I won't, I'm not interested, or 'as if'", that's when the Universe gives you precisely what you didn't ask for. You see, it doesn't understand all the words really (especially since it has to understand all the languages not only on planet earth, but the entire Universe), it just knows that when you say something with conviction then you must want that brought into your life.
So, here it is I'm at home in my beautiful twin-islands of Trinidad & Tobago, celebrating my birthday with Daddy dearest and my Super Mumsita and I unwrap one of my gifts excitedly to find 'Eat Pray Love'. Great! Now I have to read it. I look up at my parents with a quizzical face that says, 'Really?' And they tell me that they've heard great things about this book and thought I might want to read it before the movie comes out. I smile and cleverly shove it aside to open my next non-feeling-like-a-book-gift.
Weeks later, literally shoved back into work and busy America, I'm faced with a depression that had no right to bother me in the first place. It just showed up uninvited and turned my lovely world into darkness. I was lonely and alone once again and I didn't feel like reading my self-help books at the moment I feared I'd slash my grand collection with the rage ensuing within my heart. So, I had no choice, I dug 'Eat Pray Love' out from under my collection of books I may want to read at the side of my bed, opened it up and read it. The book is 445 pages with medium-small text and I swallowed it up in just 2 days. My, what a heart-warming, honest, and friendly book! I say friendly because I felt as though Elizabeth was my friend, and what I didn't know was that it was a true story, so it turned out to be inspirational after all.
Now I can say that I've read the book and watched the movie and although it may not be my most favourite novel or film, I can safely say that it touched me in a positive way and I can honestly see why and how it touched people all around the world too. I burst into tears, I was angry at some points, I was happy at the end too. I always love happy endings. Gosh! They're the best aren't they?!
The book was better than the movie – I know some people are rejoicing because they think 'every' book is better than the movie, but I'm not one of those people. The book just had so many more intricacies and reality than Hollywood could box into an hour and a half of film. I enjoyed the film too, don't get me wrong, because seriously, how many films give you a grandiose view of a Welsh man's perfect bum? All in all, directors try to portray as best as they can the highlights and most of the message when turning books into film and I must say they did a first-rate job. There were some moments where I think they should have done more explanation, more narration as Elizabeth's novel did; which made you connect more with the main character, like when Giovanni walked her home and she wished for a kiss from him because it was so romantic, even though she wasn't 'in-love' with him, or perhaps added the details about the sly behavior of Wayan towards Elizabeth, or mention that Tutti had 2 adopted sisters. The added scenes of the Indian wedding and twisting of relationships in the film actually worked. I found the meditation scenes quite funny; as I myself struggle with my thoughts, but after watching this I am more determined to use my 'alone' time to master my learned techniques. I also can't get S' Wonderful by Joao Gilberto out of my head either....sigh** such beautiful music.
I must admit Julia Roberts did a great job at looking like a 'pretty woman' on screen (no pun intended), and believably ugly enough too during her countless crying scenes. I've discovered that suddenly James Franco isn't so attractive to me anymore…Hmmm… rather strange. And Javier Bardem did a marvelous job as always; now he's undeniably Hollywood material, not only can he play scary villain characters but also a delightful leading romantic man; He is now indisputably a household name.
Cinematic moments that made my heart soar were:
When your life is in ruins, it's only a transformation towards something better.
The only way for you to love again is to trust again.
Sometimes when falling in love you lose your balance, but it's the only way you can truly be balanced.
Sure, it's all about love, when is it not about love? Doesn't it truly make the world go round; Love conquers all. Lucky to those who have it! Humph! j/k. But on a serious note, this was one woman's journey to find her heart and to find peace and balance and yes…Love within her life. And she found it alright; everybody's path is different, some people don't have Hollywood happy endings, and some people don't have the luxury to travel to exotic lands for lengthy amounts of time. But I think the true message is to find that balance within your life and not remain in something unhealthy for you just because you miss someone, or you want things to work, or you're accustom to conveniences you're not ready to give up; that's not a good enough excuse for your happiness and freedom to be the best you! You also don't have to travel the world in search of it, as I am actually guilty of doing, sometimes what you need is right under your nose, as I've found out, after chasing after it all around the world and having it lead me right back to where I started.
Be true to yourself and never settle, you deserve a better you, understanding, happiness, truth, sharing, trust and everlasting friendship. You're not in control of many things in life, but you are in control of how enjoyable you make your destiny. Who do you want to journey with? J
I will leave you with some words of one of my favourite tunes, which probably has nothing to do with the novel or movie, but I love it and feel obliged to share…Enjoy! It's entitled 'La Foule' by the beloved and late Edith Piaf:
I see the city again at a festival, delirious,
Suffocating in sun-drenched merriment
And I hear shouts and laughter amidst the music
Which breaks out and bounces all around me
And lost among these people who jostle me
Dizzy, distressed, I stay there.
When suddenly I turn, he draws back
And the crowd throws me into his arms
Carried away by the crowd which drags us,
Carries us off.
Squashes us against each other
We form one body
And the effortless stream pushes us, chained to one another.
And leaves us both expansive, intoxicated, happy.
Dragged along by the crowd which dashes forward and dances a mad farandole.
Our two hands stay joined and sometimes raised
Our two bodies entwined fly off and we both fall back
Expansive, intoxicated, happy.
And the joy radiating from his smile.
Pierces me and bursts forth from my depths
But suddenly I cry out amidst the laughter
When the crowd starts to tear him from my arms
Carried away by the crowd which drags us
Pulls us along, pulls us far from each other
I fight and struggle
But the sound of his voice is muffled by the laughter of others.
I scream in pain, fury and rage and I cry.
Carried away by the crowd which dashes forward and dances a mad farandole.
I am carried away far off
I clench my fists, cursing the crowd that stole
The man it gave me, whom I will never find again…
[You bring me to life, I like who I am when I'm with you, but if you don't need me anymore, I'll transform with grace because of the memory you'll hold in my heart…always…Love you my darling, doux-doux!] J
I do believe it's time to put on my 'Brazilian Lounge' CD and do a little twirling and dancing! J