Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Enlighten Up!

Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Yoga Documentary Follows Doubting Thomas in Search of Inner Peace

29 year-old Nick Rosen was already a little skeptical about the value of yoga when he decided to embark on a personal quest to find out whether it could transform his nagging discontent into a state of bliss the way it seemed to do for so many other devotees. So, he agreed to allow his friend, filmmaker Kate Churchill, an avid yoga enthusiast, to follow him around with a camera as he traveled from New York to India stopping at a variety of gyms, clubs and ashrams along the way in search of inner peace.
Were the yogis they encountered really capable of cosmic healing, or was the industry just a sham scamming millions of Westerners inclined to consume spirituality in the same way they way buy sneakers and hot dogs? I think Nick was half-hoping to find a legit alternative to the life he’d been leading, since the Quebec-born journalist freely admitted to being unsatisfied with his current mainly materialistic path.
The upshot of his half-year endeavor is this charming little documentary called Enlighten Up!, an alternatively funny and revealing flick which dares to knock some seemingly sacrosanct gurus off their lofty pedestals. The movie succeeds primarily because of the contrast between the approaches to yoga taken by ever-battling Nick and Kate, the former being an irreverent Doubting Thomas, while the latter is decidedly deferential to the shamans they seek out.
In the end, alas, neither one’s attitude changed much, leading the viewer inexorably to the conclusion that the answer to the question of whether the practice of yoga holds the key to nirvana just might be in the eye or the soul of the beholder.

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 82 minutes
Studio: Balcony Releasing

No comments: