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Water

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Canada, India

2005

Rated PG • 1h55

Deepa Mehta

Director

Lisa Ray, Sarala, John Abraham, Seema Biswas

Stars

Drama, Romance

Genre

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The year is 1938, and Mahatma Gandhi's groundbreaking philosophies are sweeping across India, but 8-year-old Chuyia, newly widowed, must go to live with other outcast widows on an ashram. Her presence transforms the ashram as she befriends two of her compatriots.

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63

New York Post by

Gandhi did save India from the British, but he didn't save India from the Indians, and the horrific subjugation of widows continues there even today. It was only 10 years ago that Mehta encountered the Hindu widow who inspired her film.
80

L.A. Weekly by David Chute

Hitches some of the most irresistible conventions of Hindi movie melodrama to an earnest agenda of social protest.
90

Variety by Eddie Cockrell

Deftly balancing epic sociopolitical scope with intimate human emotions, all polished to a high technical gloss, Deepa Mehta's Water is a profoundly moving drama.
75

ReelViews by James Berardinelli

The stunning Lisa Ray, a Bollywood exile, makes one of the most beautiful widows ever to grace the screen. Vidula Javalgekar gives a memorable turn as the infirm "Auntie." But the real find is Sarala, a Sri Lankan girl who memorized dialogue in a language she does not understand and delivers it with conviction.
58

The A.V. Club by Tasha Robinson

Water is gorgeously composed and beautifully shot, with a dogged emphasis on water imagery and symbolism, and a luscious sense for color. It's often profoundly beautiful. But its distanced, calculated attempts to draw sympathy, from its wide-eyed child protagonist to its sad-eyed, personality-free lovers to its fairy-tale ending, all blunt the meaning behind that beauty.

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