‘Eat Pray Love’ Julia Roberts Movie Worries Hindus

March 22nd, 2010 - 10:45 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Mar 22 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Actress Julia Roberts has a new movie coming out, and it is sparking controversy in many areas. The movie, entitled “Eat, Pray, Love” is based on a book written by Pushcart Prize winner Elizabeth Gilbert. It is the story of her spiritual journey into self discovery and soul searching after a horrid divorce. Gilbert (who is played by Roberts) explores India, Italy, and Indonesia, and while in India she learned the “art of devotion.” One critic, however, has described the movie as “”the worst in Western fetishization of Eastern thought and culture”.

The movie was filmed somewhere near Pataudi, which is about 60 kilometers from India’s capital , Delhi. It is set to be released on August 13 in the United States, and August 27 in India. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada stated that Hinduism, as well as it’s belief system is very often depicted incorrectly outside of India. He is hoping this will not be the case with this movie. His wish is for the filmmakers in this case to stick to authentic traditions so that the widely misunderstood religion will be represented properly. While he welcomes Hollywood to explore and present the spirituality and rich philosophy of Hinduism, he wants it to be taken seriously, and depicted authentically. He offered to help in any way needed and mentioned that other Hindu scholars would be willing to help as well.

The Bhavna Shinde of Forum for Hindu Awakening has also stated that the filmmakers have plenty of time before August to look over the movie and edit anything which would not be true to the Hindu faith. They would like for the authenticity of Hinduism to be uncompromised in the film, to honer the feelings of billions of Hindus.

Roberts will have to depict many Hindu traditions very precisely, such as cleaning ashram or hermitage floors as a part of her devotional duty. She will also have to recite the 182 verse Sanskrit chant, and show what it is like to withstand hours of meditation, while being eaten alive by mosquitoes. With these any other Hindu traditions in the movie, it is understandable that the Hindus wish their faith to be represented in truth.

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