Deepa Mehta is an Indian-born film director who lives and works inCanada. In 2005 her film “Water” was released. “Water” is the third and the last part of her Element’s trilogy. The trilogy consists of three films: “Fire” (1996), “Earth” (1998) and “Water” (2005). All three films are dedicated toIndia: its history, culture, religion and the problems that arise in the country and in the society particularly due to different reasons. “Water”, the last part of the trilogy, concentrates on the social state of a woman in Indian society, especially on the social position of a widow. The film tells us about a small eight-year-old girl who was unlucky to become a widow at the very beginning of her life. Life of widows is not only difficult, it is also rather unfair. She cannot live with her parents. Chuyia has to spend the rest of her life in ashram – a special institution for women like her – widows who cannot even talk to other men, women who must be “imprisoned” in ashram in order to atone their sins. These sins are considered to be the reason of their husbands’ deaths. Unfortunately Chuyia is not lucky at all. The ashram she lives in is ruled by a woman who is unaware of moral qualities of a woman and of a human in general. Madhumati’s friends are scoundrels, transvestites and pimps. She sells the widows under her care to men, the permanent clients of the ashram. Chuyia sees and understands everything. She also comprehends that one day that will also become her fate. The girl is surrounded by different people and some of them are really good. A young, very attractive woman whose name is Kalyani becomes her friend. She also has to work as a prostitute but there’s no choice for widows in ashram – they do what they are told to do. Kalyani is young and her heart did not go to the grave with her husband. She lives, she breaths and she wants to live a full life. The tragic situation in which women find themselves is emphasized by her strong feeling towards Narayan – a handsome man who falls in love with beautiful Kalyani. The man is rather sure of his feelings. His firm intention is to rescue the woman by marrying her. A really controversial situation is depicted in the picture. Kalyani wants to be with Narayan as much as he does. Though she is not sure about her future life at all. She knows that her religion and the society she lives in prescribe her to hide from other people till the very end of her life. She has no right to love, no right to live a full life. On the other hand the soul of a loving woman tells the opposite things. That is a real problem that young Indian women face. Unfortunately it is next to impossible to deal with such superstitions and public opinion. There is no happy end in the story: Kalyani learns that Narayan’s father was one of her clients. There is a tragic pause: nobody knows what to do next. But the woman makes her decision: there is no reason to live. She kills herself. All these tragic events are observed by a small Chuyia. The girl realizes all the hopelessness and desperation of her future life. That may also happen to her. The question is left open.
Deepa Mehta impresses with Water. Accessed 7 May 2010; available from http://inhome.rediff.com/movies/2007/mar /09water.htm; Internet.
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