Water (Mehta, 2005) DVD
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Directed by Deepa Mehta
Produced in 2005
Main Language - Hindi/English with English subtitles
Lisa Ray, Sarala, Seema Biswas
From the outset, Deepa Mehta's Water plunges you into a world that is deeply unfamiliar and unsettling: Chuyia is an eight-year-old widow and, Hindu society being what it is, widows have to be sent to an ashram in order to atone for whatever crimes they committed in a former life that resulted in the death of their husbands. The ashram to which she is sent is positively seething with life (imagine a Rohinton Mistry novel filmed by English Patient-period Anthony Minghella): there is the tough old matriarch Madhumati, enigmatic Shakuntala, the pimp Gulabi and the beautiful prostitute Gulyani. Chuyia (clutching to the hope that her mother will come and save her), Shakuntala (looking to reconcile her hatred of being a widow alongside her devout faith) and Gulyani (who falls in love with Narayan, a follower of Ghandi) move one about the other, the plot eventually coming to resemble something of an Indian version of Atonement. Filmed in Sri Lanka, Water is a genuinely moving and redemptive film that manages to challenge and surprise in equal measure.
Peter Wild on 5th September 2007
Author of 99 reviews
Water is the third part of Mehta's elemental trilogy (following 'Fire' in 1996 and 'Earth' in 1998). Set in pre-independent India, it tells the powerful story of a child bride, Chuyia, who is sent into exile following her husband's death. Chuyia's feisty presence starts to affect the lives of the other residents at the ashram where she lives. Encouraged by Chuyia, one woman breaks tradition and falls for young upper-class Gandhian idealist Narayan, forcing the widows to question their future and faith.
Length: 117 mins
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 22nd October 2007
Cat No: MTD5336
- 2 discs
- English and Hindi versions
- Making of
- 2 part TV special
- Deleted scenes.