Enlighten Up!’s failure is its ultimate success. While documentary filmmaker Kate Churchill’s hypothesis is that yoga can transform just about anyone, she fails to recognize that the effects of the transformation will vary from one person to another. The subject of her little experiment (if you can call six months of extensive yoga all over the world, little,) a journalist by the name of Nick Rosen, is as skeptical as he is honest; and even if Kate initially selected him because, so it seems, she had a little crash on him, he ends up being the perfect guinea pig for this gig. Their yoga journey includes meeting and practicing with yoga teachers and gurus in NY, LA, Hawaii and India, giving us, the viewers, a chance to hear different perspectives on the ancient yoga practice. Ultimately it seems Nick does change, but rather than becoming the spiritually enlightened being Kate wished him to be, his change is a sort of a maturity in focus.
This film can be a 4-star rating for the yoga enthusiastic, as it portrays both the depths and the shallowness of various yoga celebrities; the ones that understand yoga as an individual path, and the ones who rigidly believe theirs is the only way. I awarded it 3-stars as for non-yoga followers, it’s an okay film - still engaging but somewhat uneven. Still, kudos to Kate and Nick for their honesty and willing to expose themselves.