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Water

Feminist at its core
By TOM MEEK  |  May 10, 2006
3.0 3.0 Stars

Water
Water

The final chapter in Deepa Mehta’s “elemental trilogy” has much to do with the cleansing substance of the title, the grand river Ganges and purity of spirit, yet at its core it’s a feminist anthem. It’s set in 1938, when Gandhi was beginning to defy the colonial Brits and widows were held as outcasts — a notch above whores — and forced to live an existence of self-denial. Such is the fate of seven-year-old Chuyia (Sarala), the victim of an arranged marriage, and Kalyani (the stunning Lisa Ray), a dour siren at the height of her womanhood. The two bond inside a languid ashram and launch their own form of defiance. Kalyani even dares to love. In making the film, Mehta endured her own form of persecution: virulent protests from Hindu fundamentalists forced her to complete the project in another country. With harrowing turns, a remarkable performance by Saralam and Giles Nuttgens’s opulent cinematography, Water nearly enters the realm of Jafar Panahi’s The Circle and the subtle yet rebellious early works of Zhang Yimou.
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  Topics: Reviews , Special Interest Groups, Zhang Yimou, Women's Issues,  More more >
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