Book to Film: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Yes, another travel memoir. Here, we journey to the narrow streets of Italy, on the dusty roads of India and the lulling waves of Indonesia. It is a woman's journey peppered with cravings to eat more, typical clumsiness and distractions, like failing to concentrate on a meditation and, lo, a possibility of love.

Eat Pray Love is also a meandering to self-discovery in which the author took a life-changing break and decided to fly halfway across the world to search for healing and peace.

Back then, I remembered eyeing this book often on my foray to bookstores but didn't get around to read it until after a long while. I had this impression of a calm and meditative book but I was proven wrong.

Instead, Elizabeth Gilbert sort of hits that spot where it was a cross between a chick-lit, a memoir, a travel journal and a loose spiritual guidebook.

In the usual dribbles on the strangeness of the unfamiliar, admiration to visited places and observation of culture, I find the different people she met quite lingering in presence, their stories more piercing and quite reflective.

It was funny, delightful and in some parts I can relate as a woman. Her accounts of Italy was the most interesting though in all honesty, apart from the people featured and her struggle in meditating in India, the rest of the tale trickled away from my mind.

The film was much subdued and less frazzled for me. I think they meant it to be visually stunning and light more than anything and it actually is. Only one dialogue stood out to me and it was not even uttered by Julia Roberts.

Nevertheless, it boiled down to being a travelogue cum romantic comedy, a film to enjoy when you just want to sit back, relax and go see places on the couch. Bali on screen is pretty much scenic and captured my attention best.

I do wonder if, had it been a woman at the director's helm, would it have a different feel to it? After all, it was a woman's soul who's a bit lost here and who better to explore it? But that's only me.


In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want -- husband, country home, successful career but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she felt consumed by panic and confusion.

Following a divorce and a crushing depression, Gilbert set out to examine three different aspects of her nature, set against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.

Book Title: Eat, Pray, Love
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre: Travel, Autobiography/Memoir
Published: 2007
Publisher: Penguin Books
Rating: ♨♨♨ 1/2 ( 3 and a half cups - A fun read with a bit of snark, though I was hoping for more depth.)

Film Title: Eat Pray Love
Director and Screenplay: Ryan Murphy (and Jennifer Salt as co-writer)
Cast: Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, Richard Jenkins
Released Date: 2010
Rating: ♨♨♨ ( 3 cups - Pretty scenic and Javier Bardem was almost hilarious, though I didn't really get James Franco's character.)

{images. marie claire uk}