There’s just something not quite the same though; watching a film about a family touring the south of France whilst you’re sat at home finishing off a tube of Pringles wondering whether you’ll ever be sipping a cold glass of Chardonnay on holiday again. As I was scouring through Netflix as I usually do every evening, wondering what film or TV show will satisfy my cravings for a few hours, I came upon Eat, Pray, Love.
“After deciding to reshape her life after divorce, Liz travels around the world in search of good food, spirituality and true love.”
Two hours later and I believe I had found this myself. Liz begins her journey in Italy (the pizza and pasta capital of the world) eating her way through the problems that arose from her recent separation and soon to be divorce from her husband of eight years. She finds herself struggling in Rome after her recent divorce, befriending a group of locals eager to show her the way. Watching this was like looking in a mirror, looking at someone who since lockdown has devoured packets upon packets of snacks like there is no tomorrow. What Liz seemingly realises halfway through this is the importance of friendship. Despite the first few weeks of lockdown certainly being a cultural change, just like that which Liz experiences, we have come to learn the true value of friendships both home and away.
The second leg of her journey takes Liz to India. We are introduced to a breath-taking country unlike anything we are used to in the western world. Liz adopts a new religion on her travels, incorporating daily prayer and meditation into her routine. Just like Liz, more and more of us have begun to turn to yoga and meditation as a means by which we can come back together with body and mind and distract ourselves if only for half an hour every day. Whilst isolation may not be the time to devote ourselves to a new religion, it could be the replenishing of an old one, or the returning home to ourselves.
In the final leg of her journey, Liz arrives in the spiritual land of Indonesia, back to where it all started a year ago when she first visited Bali as part of her journalism. Liz is mentored by an ancient native where she is finally taught the art of love. Unlike most romance films, Eat, Pray, Love prompts the protagonist to search for love within herself rather than in someone else.
This film is a splendid piece of art that follows a broken woman through her journey towards happiness. She learns how to not only love others, but also herself. This film firmly mirrors many of the journeys we are all taking at the minute under lockdown, with many of us feeling lost with no direction. Watching this film has amplified the importance of self-love, especially in times like these, and the acts in which we can take to accomplish this. Travelling across the world, Liz is exposed to varying cultures that all speak to her in a way that she has not been able to speak to herself thus far. In a time where the furthest we can travel is our local supermarket, this is the most comforting and wholesome film.