Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I don't usually do movie reviews, but anyone who has read me for any period of time knows that I love Bollywood movies.
Besides Bollywood, I also love Deepa Mehta movies.
Deepa Mehta is no Bollywood movie writer, Director and producer.
She's much more angry, passionate, and darkly humourous.
Her movies are beautiful to watch, and she's Canadian.
I'm deeply proud of that.
She is a personification of immigrant freedom.
Able to speak her mind, and expose her own birth culture to criticsm.

When I go to my Indian Flute Salon, Kami..my hairdresser and esthetician and I talk about Indian movies. When I told her that I saw Water one of Deepa Mehta's forbidden trilogy, she said: "They chased Deepa out of India for making this movie...they chased her out because she spoke the truth, she had to film it in Sri Lanka".

Water is about widows in an Ashram in India in the late 1930's when Ghandi just begins to gain followers.
Chuyia, a strong willed child is widowed at the age of 8 or 9 and sent to an Ashram.
The film is full of rich characters. Strong women forced by their fate to endure a life of purity, and sacrifice...but at the same time a life of concealed contradictions.

Didi, the Mother of the Ashram is a tyrant whose rules for the widows do not apply to her. She eats well (unlike her sisters), smokes marijuana brought to her by The Eunich Galabi, who also aids her in selling her most beautiful young widow Kalyani, to wealthy Brahmen for sex. Kalyani is allowed to keep her long hair for this reason. All other widows are shaved bald.

Patiraji, an old widow who longs for sweets is brought a ladoo one time before she dies by Chuyia who uses the money given to her by a young girl outside the temple where the widows beg. Chuyia does this to give "auntie" what she longs for.
The contrast of fates between Chuyia and the young girl outside the temple is stark, and anger inducing. For a child to have to endure this life in our world is unthinkable, yet in other cultures common and accepted.
Which is shocking, indeed.

Patiraji eats the ladoo, and remembers when she was a young girl at her own wedding. Long before she knew what lot awaited her.
She often laments on how painful life is. And when she dies, we rejoice in her freedom.

Shakuntala is the character I most empathized with...her quiet, enduring faith, and determination to do the right thing. Her struggle with her destiny, and her characters honesty and resignation made me sad...but her strength in the end redeemed her trust in the human race...even though she still remained in her own sad circumstances.
If she was lucky. She gave everything to do the right thing...INAT (whatever the consequences)

Narayan, the son of a wealthy Brahman and follower of Ghandi, falls in love with the beautiful Kalyani (Lisa Ray), and wants to marry her...which is forbidden.
I'm not going to go into how that plays out.
That's up to you.
It's worth seeing, believe me.

Deepa exposes the hypocrasy of religion and faith.
In a scene with Shakuntala and Narayan, Shakuntala askes why widows must endure what they do, and Narayan tells her:
"One less mouth to feed.
4 less saris,
one less bed, a corner of the house saved
...there is no other reason.
Disguised as religion, it's just about money".
Tell me that organized religion isn't all the same...

Deepa's Mehta's forbidden triolgy: Fire, Earth and Water, I think are worth watching.
I haven't seen Earth yet, but Fire was excellent.
Go out and rent them...or buy them like I did.