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Old June 23rd, 2006, 11:27 AM   #1
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Deepa Mehta's Water

Wondering if anyone has seen this film? I saw it last night, in Hindi with English subtitles. Beautiful looking film, IMHO.

It's set in India in 1938, in the city of Benares. It concerns the plight of widows, who are not allowed to remarry, and basically forced to live in grinding poverty abandoned by their families.

It sort of reminded me of 'Crash', with a bit more emphasis on the social criticism than on creating actual characters.

Originally it was being shot on location in Benares, but the local population physically attacked the sets for criticising long held traditions. So it was finally filmed in Sri Lanka instead.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 05:01 AM   #2
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Deepa Mehta last in the trilogy right, I saw Earth and thought it was heart-breaking. Can't wait to see this.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 09:02 AM   #3
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Yeah, this was a good film.

But I don't see the "Crash" comparison.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 02:43 PM   #4
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Well, my only issue with 'Crash' - which I enjoyed a lot - was the characters and situations seemed a little contrived in trying to convey its social message. I sort of felt I was watching a long Public Service Announcement, or an after school special on why smoking is bad.

'Water' was sort of the same way - a cute kid, a suffering (but incredibly good looking) heroine, with a noble (and incredibly good looking) hero. Again, a tad contrived to make the broader point.

Now, don't get me wrong, I understand both movies are 'message movies'. They have particular agendas they're trying to communicate. So it's understandable why the respective directors made the choices they did. I guess I'd argue they sacrificed a more nuanced plot and character development to make a statement.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 03:38 PM   #5
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I'm with you on "Crash" but I disagree with the comparison with 'Water". "Water" was much more focussed. After all, it was about these women whereas "Crash"'s structure was disparate.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 06:18 PM   #6
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That's true that Water was much more focused. And the widows in the 'Widow House' were more developed than the ones in Crash.

I'm curious to see the other films in the trilogy. My understanding they also deal with sort of personal stories against the backdrop of historical events.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 06:29 PM   #7
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I've only seen "Fire" which is about two women who have a relationship and how its dealt with in the traditional manner by a traditional husband. Clue: it's in the title.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 07:30 PM   #8
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I agree that this was a beautiful film, it premiered in Calgary last September as the opening gala film of the Calgary International Film Fest. Both Deepa Mehta and Lisa Ray (the suffering heroine) were in attendence, and after the film finished, they talked about the troubles (as well as the laughs) they had making the film. Deepa Mehta also mentioned that the little girl who starred in the film didn't actually know how to speak Hindi (or English for that matter), so she learned all of her lines phoenetically with the help of a language coach! (sp?) Now that is impressive! Even for a seasoned adult actor to do that is incredible, let alone a small girl that hasn't even reached her pre-teen years. Also, I've got to say that Lisa Ray is even more lovely in person - yikes! :) I haven't seen Earth yet, but I have seen Fire, and I enjoyed that.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 07:58 PM   #9
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I also read about the troubles they had making it. I lived in Benares (also called Varanasi) in 1988, it's too bad they weren't able to make it there. A beautiful and ancient city.

Of course, making 'Water' there was a bit like making 'Dogma' or 'Last Temptation of Christ' in the Vatican. Not a lot of cooperation.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 03:13 PM   #10
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This seems odd. Did all the posts after my last one in this thread disappear?
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