Thursday, February 22, 2007

Can Turbulent "Water" Make It.

Bringing Water to life has been a painful voyage both in real and in reel life. The recent Cauvery Tribunal verdict caused some amount of uproar and there is more to come. As one of my blogmates, Aaman points probably the roots of the English words 'river' and 'rivalry' stem from the same source. Somewhat like swimming through turbulent waters marred with protests, violence and even death threats, Deepa Mehta who has a reputation for liking hot potatoes made it to the shore with a film.

Yes, yes a film named "Water" [ don’t you feel even the words 'water' and 'war' are linked in a deceptive way.] that is being hailed as her best in the trilogy by critics. "Water" is the third part of an elemental trilogy starting with "Fire" which tackled lesbianism, and then "Earth", covering a sensitive subject of India's partition.

To talk about the movie in short. It’s a period piece on the Indian widows in the 1930s. It begins with eight-year-old Chuyia being sent to a home where Hindu widows must live in penitence. Chuyia's presence affects the lives of the other residents, including a young widow, who falls for an idealistic young man. A neat analytical review of the movie and the story line can be read here.

Why suddenly "Water" has come to limelight now ?

Because, with Oscar awards just round the corner [25th Feb’07], speculation over Deepa Mehta's "Water" winning the Oscar is high in the Best Foreign Language Film category. After "Rang De Basanti"'s dis-qualification Indians have set their hope on "Water".

But Deepa’s movie is now a Canadian entry for the Academy Awards. Canada, is the country where Deepa, a director of Indian origin is based, chose "Water" as its Oscar contender. It is the first time a film in a language other than French that Canada has chosen for the Best Foreign Language Film category from its side. Water was shot in Hindi.

Now the question comes a movie shot in Hindi by a director of Indian origin, based on an Indian storyline but still how come Canada is projecting it.

Mehta began filming "Water" in India at Varanasi in 1999, but was forced to stop after an outcry from local leaders and nationalists who smashed sets and threatened the crew on grounds of making a film on a very controversial issue. The Uttar Pradesh government withdrew the film's location permits as mobs stormed the ghats along the Ganges, destroying the film's sets and burning effigies of Mehta.

But Deepa was not to be deterred.

She looked at many places but found Sri Lanka closer to what she was looking for. The same kind of lushness and the water ponds but the only thing lacking was the ghats. The production designer and his team did an incredible job in creating the ghats. Because of the changing dates and all this brouhaha, even the original cast got changed. Seema Biswas of “Bandit Queen” fame replaced Shabana Azmi. John Abraham and Lisa Ray took over the roles originally marked for Akshay and Nandita Das.

The director's Indian origin and cast of Indian stars like Lisa Ray, Seema Biswas and John Abraham have evoked patriotism and support from the 'desis' junta round the globe and lets see if “ Water” can clinch the award. Keeping fingers crossed.

The other four in contest for the same category are "After The Wedding" (Denmark), "Days Of Glory" (Algeria), "The lives Of Others" (Germany) and "Pan's Labyrinth" (Mexico). Do you know that even the movie “After The Wedding” has an Indian connection?
Though born and raised in Denmark, Jacob Peterson made a life for himself in India, where he runs an orphanage for homeless children. While Jacob cares little for money, raising funds is part of the responsibilities of his position, and when he learns that Jorgan, a wealthy Danish businessman, is willing to donate four million dollars under the condition that he meet with him in person, Jacob grudgingly hops a flight back home. Once in Denmark, Jorgan insists that Jacob attend the wedding of his daughter the next day; at the celebration he meets Jorgan's wife, Helene, whom he recognizes as someone he knew many years ago. As Jacob finds himself revisiting a past he would prefer to forget, he discovers that Jorgan has an ulterior motive for bringing him to Denmark -- the wealthy man is in poor health, and while the donation will help ease some of his guilt over a life of avarice, he's also looking for someone to take over as Helene's husband after he dies.
[ Source : New York Times ]

Be it Cauvery Water, Roger Waters[ did anyone attend the concert in Mumbai. ],irrespective Water is a stir.

Don’t miss the Academy Awards on the 25th Feb’ 07 night.

Keep reading and remain connected.

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At 12:23 PM, Blogger RC said...

man, i enjoyed this is quite moving.

--RC of

At 3:31 AM, Blogger B.Sunil said...

Excellent bey. Probably 1 of ur best I have ever read.

At 9:04 PM, Blogger The Mumbai Vegan said...

I went to the roger waters concert.. was awesome!!! must for every die-hard floydian!!

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