Saturday, February 24, 2007

Water (2005) - for your consideration

"A widow should be long-suffering until death, self-restrained and chaste"
So begins Water, with a quote from 2000 year old sacred Hindu texts - 'The Laws of Manu'...






Although officially submitted by Canada, 'Water' becomes only the fifth Indian movie to be nominated for an Academy Award. The first winner of that group (in the Best Documentary category) was 'Born Into Brothels' last year and I hope 'Water' will continue that tradition. It combines a controversial story, tremendous acting performances and beautifully shot scenes making it one of my two favorite Indian movies of the year (my favorite one will be reviewed in the next few weeks). 'Water' is one of those rare movies that captures you from the first scene and doesn't let you go until the final one. Each line of dialogue is perfectly written and every actor delivers a stunning performance. The simplicity of the sets adds to the grace and power of the film's message.

The shooting of 'Water' was interrupted by Hindu fanatics for 5 years as they objected to the subject matter of how widows are treated in Indian society. A crowd of 2000 rioters burned down the sets in Benares and issued death threats against all those involved in the making of the movie. The production eventually was moved to Sri Lanka where filming resumed under a fake movie title and the film was finally finished 5 years after it was begun. The three female leads all provide memorable performances but none more than Sarala, the eight year old child who plays Chuihya. Sarala had never acted before making this movie nor did she speak a word of Hindi - astonishing considering how naturally she disappears into her role.

My favorite song from the movie is the haunting Piya with music composed by A.R. Rahman (who has said this is the most artistically complete album he has ever created). So tune in on Sunday night to see if the most successful Indian movie to be released in the US (and still unreleased in India) can become the second one to take home the Oscar gold.

6 comments:

Tohou Lidia said...

I saw Fire and thought it was ok, then Earth and absolutely adored it (Rahul Khanna...i love him :)) and so now with great anticipation am waiting to see Water! And i love A.R. Rahman's music. It's actually already on the shelf at my local DVD store but i haven't had the time to go down and rent it. But i can't wait though :) Beautiful pictures!
-Amy

Trupti said...

Too Bad, Water didn't win at the Oscars....that was kinda disappointing.

Cheers,T

Sanket Vyas said...

Water is just such a special movie. I think if more Oscar voters would have actually seen it then maybe... It is the movie that I loan out to my friends who have never seen Bollywood (and those who have of course too) - they give it back to me and always thank me for the experience.

Nida said...

I totally agree with you--Sarala as Chuihya was fabulous! I had no idea she didn't speak Hindi, or that this was her first acting experience. She was so "real" to me in this film, that I just wanted to gather her up and take her away from that place!

This movie was so fantastic, and definatley deserved an Oscar...The only weak link for me was John Abraham in some of his trickier scenes...Don't get me wrong, I love John(what woman doesn't), and his character was a crucial ribbon of hope in the story, but there were times when he could have showed more emotion...

Sanket Vyas said...

I agree with both of your points Nida - I too wanted to scoop her up and take her away from all the sadness. John Abraham played his character with the understated presence he needed but at times it was too much so. His ideas were pretty grand but could have used some more fire in the delivery in certain scenes.

Anonymous said...

Hi, i simply needed to come here to let you know of a very cheap service that posts comments similar to this on millions of Wordpress blogs. Exactly why you might ask, well you may wish to sell a product and target webmasters or merely just increase the quantity of backlinks your website has which will improve your Google rankins which will then bring your website more visitors and money. Take a quick take a look at this website for much more info. http://hellomotow.net/backlinks