Let me start with this: I did not like the ending.
That being said, I was reminded of what my sister said about Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist. You have to be in a certain frame of mind in order to enjoy that particular book. What I mean by this is that...when I first read the book, I couldn't finish it because it just didn't speak to me. I didn't understand why everyone was raving about it. A couple of years later, while I was experiencing some serious, life-altering emotional turmoil, I re-read the book and totally connected with it.
I guess the same could be said about Eat, Pray, Love, which was based on Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling novel about a woman, who throws everything for a year-long journey of self-discovery that would take her to Italy (Eat), India (Pray), and Bali (Love). As I have not read the book, I shall not make comparisons. What I could say is that, had this movie been released three years ago, I would have called the heroine a selfish b*tch going going through a pointless, hedonistic journey towards self-centeredness. Like a lot of reviewers have said. Well. I could use some eating, praying and loving...for myself. That was why I connected to the film on so many levels, I began to have a sneaky, narcissistic suspicion that it was written for me.
Firstly, what is so wrong about going through a selfish journey? Everyone needs to be selfish once in a while. Tell me you've never felt a selfish moment in your entire life and I'd tell you you're either in denial or a hypocrite. It's human nature to feel it, though I do understand why people would feel guilty when they begin to act on these feelings. Filipino culture, in particular, values traits like pakikipag-kapwa -- individuality exists in relation to others -- that's why it's so difficult to admit that at some point, we need to do things for our own sakes.
Secondly, everyone has become so busy in this fast-paced world of technology that many of us don't even take the time to settle within ourselves. We need to take a step back and appreciate all that we have. Life is short. We can't spend it all in a dull, boring routine while complaining all the way till the next paycheck. Despite this thought, I do realize that balance is a hard thing to find. We all have so many responsibilities to keep up with and societal norms to conform with.
Lastly, I think we all need to learn how to love ourselves in a way that is almost spiritual. I believe this opens up our capacity to love other people the way they should be loved. But again, it still falls on the matter of attaining the right balance.
Julia Robert's character, Liz, struggled to find this balance throughout the entire movie. This now actually leads me to why I disliked the ending immensely. I wish it had been left open-ended instead. What I saw was so...Hollywood. The good thing about this disappointment, however, is that it leaves me curious about how the book was written. So now, I'm going to get the book.
The inspiring photo above was taken from the official website.
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