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08 April 2006 @ 09:54 pm
I went to see the movie Water today. I'm still recovering. For those of you who don't know, it's the third movie in Deepa Mehta's controversial Elements trilogy (Earth and Fire being the first two). Controversial in India, that is, since I think they've been widely embraced by the international film audience. Water is a spectacular movie and highly deserving of the attention and praise it is receiving. It's also heartwrending viewing that has left me feeling completely emotionally wrung out. (mskatej, this may be the kind of depressing movie that I like and you hate! Despite that, I'd love you to see it because of the feminist angle.)

Water explores the world of Hindu widows who live in a closed ashram, condemned to an impoverished life of self-denial. The young actress who plays the 8-year-old widow is wonderful, as are the adult cast. John Abraham and Lisa Ray are both gorgeous in their roles as the Ghandian idealist law-student and the widow he falls in love with respectively. (Abraham had me totally swooning, despite the naivety of his character.) But the women in the ashram are perhaps the most compelling--the ensemble acting was fantastic. The movie is beautifully shot, the soundtrack is gorgeous, the director integrates her symbolism well and the pacing of the story is perfect. I won't spoil anyone, as I totally advocate seeing this movie, but the ending is very memorable.

This was one of those rare movie-going experiences where I felt truly transported to another world and where I felt deeply and personally touched by a hidden human tragedy. It's exquisite. So much praise!
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
president of the back seat: River enthralledvibrantharmony on April 8th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC)
That sounds really interesting! Are the first two movies related, or standalones?
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois adorablebop_radar on April 9th, 2006 04:02 am (UTC)
Standalones. I've seen Fire and it was very good too. I'll be getting Earth out now.
Kate: Matthew Foxmskatej on April 8th, 2006 03:19 pm (UTC)
I shall put it on my list. But I'm only doing it for you. *BG*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: penguin dancebop_radar on April 9th, 2006 04:12 am (UTC)
Hee! Well I hope you don't regret it.
(Anonymous) on April 9th, 2006 12:19 am (UTC)
I think it was a good movie but a flawed one. John Abraham and Lisa Ray fell flat. Seema Biswas gave a very good performance. Perhaps you'd like to see what I thought of it at www.cultureasaurus.blogspot.com.

Naim Peress
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Maggie tartanbop_radar on April 11th, 2006 05:36 am (UTC)
Re: Water
I agree that Seema Biswas's performance was outstanding, but I personally found Lisa Ray's and John Abraham's performances acceptable. I saw that you mentioned in your blog that you found they didn't convey the sense of a couple deeply in love--in some ways I agree, but I didn't mind that so much. I don't think Lisa Ray's character could fall very deeply in love--she knew so little of the outside world, she had had such a cruel life, and he was simply a way out of there. It wasn't love for her so much as clinging to hope. And for John Abraham's character I very much wondered whether he was in love more with idea of liberating a widow (and thereby showing he acted on his ideals), as with Lisa Ray's character herself. I think his friend hints at the opposite--that he only cares about the widows of India because he met one he fell in love with. And that's another angle--I think he is mesmerised by her beauty, and I felt that was very clearly conveyed to me.

Still, it's interesting that there performances were less successful for you--thanks for sharing your thoughts.