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Javier Bardem in a Few Words in Eat Pray Love

Of course what I love about this movie, besides that it stars Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem, is that it is based on a true story and she is not a cougar, or any of those fanciful Hollywood picturesque creations that… well… do not really appeal to anyone, making us wonder how a lot of these series, films, and completely meaningless reality shows ever got made? Who was smoking what?

Rather, this movie deals with the here and the now, and something that all of us should entertain doing at least once in a while: Live!

I always marveled about how long it would take for the makers and shakers of the entertainment world to realize that we, the PEOPLE, want to see true stories! Well, thankfully real life got some attention and we now have more true stories coming out of the woodwork than ever before, addressing the problems and mysteries of life. Some of these films are so well made, they make you think, touch the soul and leave you with something to remember.

These “life as is†movies do not deal with non-existing fantasies, or strange creatures a hundred years into the future that I think are at times too painful to watch, but rather they stay in the present, which I believe is more than enough to deal with.

And, as for our children preferring science fiction, they get plenty of fantasy almost everywhere they go –anytime, any place, anywhere! I wish they wanted science without the fiction. It is too late for that though! We spoiled them with too much entertainment from too many different sources, yet none of them expressing anything worthy or of true value.

It would be nice if kids simply learned to stay in the present because that is all we have no matter what space movie, or vampire fantasy is the latest rage. I know they are everywhere and they are KOOL with a popularity that extends to fashion and ten miles of product endorsements. And all of this merchandising, by the way, is paid for by the parents, who are ironically victimized by the blood sucking ( vampires) marketing campaigns, all in the name of consumerism. I mean, what is the message of all these vampire and other out-worldly fictions? For the Love of God, I do not know! Surrendered clueless I bet on the life of one of the vampires, or any other unrecognizable creature, that they do not know it either.

As for Javier Bardem, he seems to know what he is doing. Among many other awards, he won an Oscar for his outstanding portrayal in No Country for Old Man, and played a heart-breaker, not that it seemed a hard thing for him to do, in Woody Allen’s great comedic hit, Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Yet, he does not himself understand what the big deal is about women fighting for a man like him, and confesses with sincere humbleness that he does not “get it.â€

I can relate, but I can also explain: Javier, you are simply gorgeous and masculine all at the same time! You are a man women want!

But that’s just for starters, Javier Bardem is also a phenomenal talent with a gift that few actors have. In an honest interview Bardem reveals things that I have always known about the movie industry, but never told despite my personal experience on several occasions: the lead actor, in this case Julia Roberts, carries a lot of weight, along with the director, which you do not see because it’s behind the scenes, but it’s the energy of 350 or so people at any given time on the set that really weighs in on the lead actor or actress.

If the actor, or the director loses interest and energy, or if they go down, the whole movie goes down. That is the simple truth. I would add, besides the obvious talent an actor must possess, for any respectable leading role, there are other necessary real-life personality traits that come into play very strongly: charisma, charm, strength of character, and commitment to the task, which is the movie, its substance and its message.

Without this dedication the set simply would disperse, run into one big chaos, or literally dissolve and the project would break up with endless legal complications. This is not a prediction of the intricacies and details of filmmaking, but a reality that the cinemagoers will never see. This is not the end product.

The end product is what the viewer pays for and sees on the screen. If the movie makes it to theaters it is almost always guaranteed to at least have made the initial investment back unless it is a complete flop, a disaster that somehow went undetected in the eyes of the studio executives.

One of the other mysteries of film making is that very essence I never understood about acting: how can any actor start crying when the director says “roll†and stop crying when the director says “cut.†It’s a process that can sometimes be repeated ten, fifteen times within half an hour or less, sometimes throughout the entire day depending on the scene and the director.
Javier says: “If you want to be an actor, you have to be really open, to let yourself be taken by emotions. It is not hard, we all are. The difficult thing is how to be back to yourself again after those emotions have taken you. That’s where the actor’s job comes in.â€

And in closing, I would point out, which I believe is a universal truth spoken by the movie Eat Pray Love: It is not about what one tries to achieve when one is with a certain person. It is what one wants herself/himself to be when one is with the right person. And that means not to be scared, or blocked by fear, which is what we tend to do: getting blocked by fear in the most important situations of our lives.

I have a very good and convoluted story about “being blocked by fear,†come to think of it, more than one: My whole life? Chorus: C’mon, who would agree with that?
Could it be possible, just by the off chance that life is at least partially about letting go of fear?
Because I suspect that it is.

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