I thought Water by Deepa Mehta was an incredibly well-made movie.
The context of this movie is based on the discrimination against widowed women, no matter what age, in 1938
India, although this discrimination continues on even today. Water really does an amazing job exposing this situation to the audience without any dramatization in the lives of these women. It seems that Deepa Mehta made this movie, especially for educational purposes to bring about awareness, because she did not over-dramatize for entertainment purposes. As a viewer without any previous knowledge of the situation in India, I felt that I could trust Deepa Mehta and believe everything in this film.
The content of this movie shows a nine year old girl named Chuyia who is recently widowed and does not even remember getting married, which shows how poor her family must have been to have to marry her off at such a young age at that time; or maybe it was just the custom. Anyhow, with a shaven head marking her as a widow, she is forced to live in a house for widows to eventually die in, called an ashram. Here, the viewer is shown the oppressed lives of widows who are treated as half dead corpses, eating only one meal a day; and being treated unfairly: one woman says, "You've polluted me, now I have to bathe again," to Kalyani, a young widow, who falls in love with a man from the gentry class. By the end of the movie, Chuyia is forced into prostitution by her the head sister of the ashram, and then sent off on a train with Ghandi by another sister who wants to protect her and do something about the discrimination of widows.
The form of this movie was very well thought out. The color pallete was a blue, and green, and very dark. Light was used to show beauty and positivity in the depressing world of widows. An interesting part of this movie was the lack of words. There was barely any dialogue. However, I loved this part because whenever someone DID say something, it was to state something important. Every other sentence made a statement to illustrate the lives of widows in India and what some progressive Indians were doing to try to bring enlightenment to the situation. Also, music was a big part of this movie. For example, Kalyani's lover frequently played a flute, which symbolizes the blooming love between him and Kalyani. However, when Kalyani commits suicide at the end of the movie, the sound of the flute is played again, symbolizing that the love will continue on for widows like Kalyani.
I really like this movie. I liked everything about it from its content and especially its form. The colors and music used in this movie did a big part in provoking emotions from me. I think Deepa Mehta did an amazing job.