WATER is about the lives of widows in northern India. About child marriages. About forced prostitution. About unrealised dreams. The backdrop of the movie is pre-independence India, somewhere around 1938. Movie depicts the way these widows are treated and the mental and physical torture they go through… So much so that, character of Seema Biswas comments in one scene “Bhagwan kare usko shanti mile aur agale janam me ladka paida ho” The statement hit me hard. It was as if being born a woman was a curse! And why would it not be! Considering that women alone have to go through a lot of mess. Live a life, which is thousand times worse than killing yourself.
The widows are shown to be treated as inhumans. They are outcasted by the society. Live in separate vidhwashram (Widow’s home) away from their families. They can not wear colorful clothes. They can not eat good food or even sweets. They can not indulge in any kind of pleasure. They have to live the life of abject misery! It is considered as their dharma. Whats more!? They can not even marry again.
The story brings forth women who got married as children and have never met their husbands ever. But, when those husbands die, they have to live such a life. Hard to believe that I am part of the same India where this used to happen and probably still continues to happen in some parts of the country. Makes you want to thank people like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Gandhi who took steps to improve the condition and it has improved, undoubtedly. But, a lot still needs to be done!
After seeing movies like these, you feel so small, for being continously involved in our own lives trivial problems! When there people living life like this!
All in all, A movie which made me laugh… A movie which made me cry… More importantly, A movie which made me sit back and think! Deepa Mehta directed WATER, starring Lisa Ray, John Abraham, is a hard hitting cinema… A must see!