Archive for September, 2011

Eat Pray Love (2010)

Eat Pray Love is a classic example of what happens to a lot of bestseller-inspired movies. Somewhere in the onscreen transformation the crux is under-communicated and the impact is lost. So we end up watching an unstructured, loose-ended and uninteresting movie.

Eat Pray Love is the story of a woman and her quest for peace, love, her own identity and above all God.

Married yet alone, settled but sad, resolute but fickle-minded, Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Roberts), a successful writer, finds herself in a mid-life crisis. To find out what future holds for her, she visits a fortune-teller in Bali. Ketut, a timid and old guy, narrates her past and predicts her future. He foretells her two marriages, her loss of everything in life, its comeback and her second visit to Bali to meet him again.

As Liz is back in New York, she finds the predictions to be coming true. She decides to end marriage with her 8-years beau Stephen, who loves her dearly and is not ready to part ways with her. Out of her marriage and a bitter divorce, and into an affair with David (James Franco), a struggling actor, Liz is introduced to Guru Gita – a spiritual leader, by David. Realizing lack of passion and enthusiasm in her second relationship as well, Liz desperately wants to break the monotony of her life from one man to another, and come out of the downward spiral of her life. Intuitively, she decides to go on a purposeless and fancy visit to Italy, India and then Bali.

So here we see a divorced single women, going on a backpack vacation with all her savings, staying in rented accommodations, meeting new people, making friends, learning their culture, teaching them hers and appreciating the beauty of life. She learns the importance to self-nourishment, praying and meditation, and finally finding true love.

In Italy, she learns Italian, adores their cuisine and stuffs herself with food and learns the “art of doing nothing”. She visits places, draws parallels to her life, and struggles to find a word that describes her. In India, she visits Guru Gita’s ashram and tries to find peace and contentment through meditation, selfless devotions and prayers. But no matter how hard she tries, she cannot forget her past, and cannot forgive herself for having broken her relations.

And finally she goes back to Bali to meet Ketut where she eventually finds her balance. She meets a guy and falls for her, but fears to be in a relationship again.

Eat pray love tries to present a philosophical view to life, but gets really dull and uninteresting. The movie continues at the same pace, with no “up and down” moments. The idea of rejuvenation and revival in Liz’s life does not get reflected as it should have been. The insipid thoughts and philosophical content provides distraction from the movie and looks deliberately embedded. To add to all that,  the movie continues for a long two and a half hour, leaving to exasperated and tired.

You might need to be really having a downhill life journey to appreciate the movie. Still better, you can read the book. Eat Pray Love is a “sit watch forget” movie.


28 Weeks Later (2007)

28 weeks later is for a certain class of audience – Audience with affinity towards bloodshed, brutal bloodshed and some raw violence. Fortunately for me, it doesn’t get as bad as Hostel, so I can atleast watch the whole movie. Nevertheless the movie grasps your attention and keeps you involved till the end.
A deadly “rage” virus has attacked Britain, and is spreading exponentially, turning everyone in contact with infected into a flesh eating killer.
The movie starts with a handful of survivors in a closed dark house – Don (Robert Carlyle) and Alice (Catherine McCormack), along with few others in hiding. Immediately after, group of Hannibals like creatures attacks the occupants. In a state of fit, Don runs to save himself, leaving behind his wife, screaming for help.
28 weeks later (this is where the movie begins), US army takes command of the situation, removes the deadly virus, quarantines some area and creates District 1 in London for re-population, with all amenities (even a pub!!). Tammy (Imogen Poots) and Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton), Don and Alice’s children, are brought back to District 1 and reunited with their father. Life seems to be settling down for everyone, until Tammy and Andy decide to go on a casual visit to their old house, only to find their mother-Alice still alive, and help her get rescued. Alice shows miraculous immunity to virus despite being an infection carrier. This makes her a valuable resource for research to develop a vaccine. As Scarlet (Rose Byrne), the chief medical officer discusses her special case with the army chief in command, Don, unaware of her infected condition, decides to meet her.
Well, here-on the script doesn’t seem to stop. Don gets infected, spreads it like a wild-fire, the condition gets out of control and the US army decides to exterminate the whole population. The only hope for Scarlet-the doctor, is to save Don’s children, who she believes, might be carrying their mother’s immune genes. Scarlet and Doyle – a sniper, take responsibility to save the kids. The camera goes from one deserted area to another, from one mode to another, until the kids are the only survivors left.
The film attempts to touch certain behavioral and humane issues like Don’s guilty secret of having left his wife, ironical display of US army’s strategies to deal with exigencies. Notably, this is the exact time of US Army’s presence in Iraq. But soon enough, the movie lost in the crazy zombie mess. Not much fan of the “zombie” genre, I hardly find the movie entertaining. But I would still call it a decent zombie movie, if not good. The movie presents a good plot, with a good preview of the plot, to the shaky cam scenes and the night-mode shots. The film for sure, makes London look like a deserted and abandoned land.
Everything being said, the movie is a sequel to the Danny Boyle’s horror hit “28 days later”. Though directed by Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the movie follows pretty much the same premises but lacks the compassion. If you liked 28 days later, you can give this movie a watch, with not so high expectations.