Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Water in the booth

Originally uploaded by himbly.
Okay...two thoughts on this film:

a- go. It's an important movie that I think everyone should see.

b- I will do a jig the day it leaves our theater.

Water is one of the most beautiful and thought provoking movies that I've seen come through the theater in a long time. It is also absolutely gut-wrenching in parts and I can't take it now that I've played it 5 times.

Set in the late 30s, it's a story of Hindu widows and the treatment they receive in a society that regards them as unlucky and unwanted due to ancient texts outlining how a widow should be treated and how she should live her life from the point of her husband's death on. It may have been set in 1938, but it alludes to the problem still facing some women in India today.

These women, no longer welcome by their own or their husbands' families, are sent to live together in an ashram and essentially fend for themselves, sometimes through degrading means....if ya get what I'm saying.

Also, some of these widows are still little girls because of marriages arranged early on and whichever other traditions get a 7 year-old married without even meeting her husband.

So..that's basically the background.

Seriously, great movie.

However, everyone is an absolute wreck afterwards. I've seen five sets of audiences come out of that theatre like they've just gone through a tragic experience. And I've come down from the booth feeling the same way. And you should feel that way...it is a tragic story.

But one of my favourite things about this film is its (what I think was) deliberate setting in a time in which India was facing many changes. Truthfully, I don't know much about Gandhi other than the very basics, so it never occured to me how conflicted the people must have been when he was doing so much good and making so much sense, while at the same time challenging the practices and customs that were so deeply part of Indian society.

The response of some characters to that conflict made the film richer for me.

At times, it can get a little sentimental. I didn't really notice it until about the 3rd time I played it, though...and, I think because it's a foreign film about things foreign to me I found it easier to forgive. Besides, really, with the subject matter, how do you not cross the line into sentimentality at times? The love interest storyline is what I'm talking about here. The guy, from the parts I saw, is so impossibly sweet and gentle and you knew what he wanted would be doomed that, if I were watching any other movie I would have been turned off. Somehow, though, he just made me teary everytime I saw him.

The ending, though, is where all the character-makes-an-inner-discovery-and-does-what-she-can-to-save-what's-left action is and that's when I have to rub those sandpaper-like brown paper towels (that's all we've got in the booth) together so that they'd be soft enough to suck up the tears. Like, not little well up in the eyes tears but full flowing streams down cheeks tears.

So, if you see it...bring kleenex. With aloe, if you can.

I rate how much I like movies by how much I watch of them. I saw about 90% of this one...so, i think it's pretty good. Content makes it a must see.

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