These days I get a lot of inquiry about converting ‘Knocked Up’ into a movie. I do understand that most of the books have always found a special place in a readers heart and mind and they want to see the same being translated onto the silver screen. However, after watching ‘Eat Love Pray’ I have a different view point altogether.
‘Eat Love Pray’ – The book written by Elizabeth Gilbert found a special place in the readers heart which in turn made the book one of the bestsellers of this decade. The book connected with the readers because everyone at one point of time in life has faced similar situations or dilemmas like trouble in finding what we actually want in life and difficulty in understanding who we really are. Our quest for deeper meanings in life keeps us going but there comes a stage when nothing seems satiable. We identified with Liz’s character.
The movie although adapted from the book looses the heart and falls flat on the face. The story that germinated in Elizabeth Gilberts brain and the story that Ryan Murphy interpreted in his own style and understanding doesn’t match at all.

Eat Pray Love the film, on the contrary, fails miserably at conveying the emotional turmoil of Liz, the turmoil that forces her to leave everything behind and romance loneliness instead. The cause of her mental upheaval that forces her to disconnect from her familiar world stays mysterious and so do her woes.

Liz (Julia Roberts) in her mid 30’s is unhappy. She is unhappy with a husband who loves her deeply. She is unhappy with her successful career as a travel writer. She is unhappy in the company of good friends who’ve always supported her. She is unhappy in her post-marital relationship with a younger David (James Franco) who’s crazy about her. Liz is basically unhappy with herself as she longs to find ‘balance’ in her life. She thus sets for Italy-India-Bali voyage to find herself.
You fail to understand what Liz lacks in life in the first place. As said before, Murphy’s poor script only makes Liz’s woes look pointless. Her 12 month voyage to three different countries in order to find her ‘balance’ thus seems futile. The horrid script also fails to establish the other characters, let alone the central character. Most of the back stories have been chopped off. The scenes have no connect with each other, story struggles when it shuttles between past-present and absurd is what this makes the film look like in the end. You feel nothing for the protagonist or anybody you see onscreen.
Loads of stereotypes further disappoint you. Italians are always happy and love to indulge in animated conversations, Buffaloes, cows and elephants need to be in every frame of the film’s picturisation in India (wonder how they forgot snakes) and love has to happen with the man who rammed you off the road.
Italy chapter seems clichéd, India further clichéd and the only chapter of the film that works to a certain extent is Bali, thanks to a gorgeous Javier Bardem and the beautiful green locales of Bali. Perhaps Murphy should have chosen just the ‘love’ section of the book for his film!

Julia Roberts apparently chose to play Elizabeth Gilbert without meeting the author as she didn’t want to imitate her. Somehow the actor’s experiment doesn’t work as she seems disconnected from the character she portrays. The 43 year old superstar also looks a tad too old to play Liz who is in her early 30’s. Javier Bardem does his job well as Liz’s Bali lover and seems to have established an expertise at wooing American women abroad. He did the same in Woody Allen’s Vicky Christina Barcelona, the later being a hugely superior film. Richard Jenkins as Liz’s spiritual advisor in India, impresses too.

Considering, a film based on ‘Soul searching’ and ‘self discovery’, Eat Pray Love is extremely shallow and absurd. You rack your brain throughout the never-ending film wondering whys and hows of Liz’s life, answers for which you never get. Pizza, Javier, Bali are the only things that make a drag like Eat Pray Love bearable.

So if ever my book gets converted into a movie I would see to it that I am totally involved with the creative process to keep a check on the understanding part between the director and the author; in this case ‘I’. So that the fans and readers who have liked my book shouldn’t feel cheated or disappointed….var zz=0;var sldsh=0; var bellyaddiv = ‘

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