Friday, April 13, 2007

Water…but why?

Saw Deepa Mehta’s Water last night. Deepa is incredible in her work. The direction, the screenplay, the background scores, music, performances…everything was impeccable. But why?

I am not questioning Deepa, the director, but I sure want to question Deepa, the story teller. A story, so sad, so painful, so hurting: so intense that even your popcorn becomes soggy with tears. I agree with her excellence in conceiving and delivering her ideas, but I fail to understand why we want to show a dark page of the old age Indian society to the world. I mean why?

Every movie has to have intent: to entertain, to educate, to inform, or at least show that evil loses to good. But there has to be a purpose. Even Fire brought the same-sex relations to picture and kind of created a debate in the society. There were discussions, exchange of thoughts…and so there was a purpose well established and to an extent, achieved. But what about Water?

The movie set in India during the 1930s, tells the story of impoverished child widows, abandoned by their families and forced into prostitution. We all know about it and we all know that the social status of widows, if not too good, is at least better than what it was in the pre independence days. So why just portray the harsh hitting chapter of history and show it to the world?

Now I am no way trying to say that all that controversy around the movie was right. I feel that Deepa enjoys every right to go with her creation. But is it a film. Not by Wikipedia standards which says that Film is considered to be an important art form, a source of popular entertainment, and a powerful method for educating-or indoctrinating citizens. It cannot even be termed Alternative cinema as that is described as films and videos that provide an alternative to commercial media or to conventional topics and forms, dealing with subjects, points-of-view and formal elements not found in the mainstream. Water does not qualify any of these definitions. People who enjoy only commercial cinema would sure jump of the chairs and die.

Water is just about reading a sad, very sad page from history with absolute perfection. I admire that perfection, but why read something that just leaves you agonized. Why?


siddharth said...

Why do you have to land up for every movie which releases???These kind of movies are for confused lots who cant make up their mind between if women in india has liberalised,become independent n so called" aadmi ke saath kandhe se kandha milake ke chal rahi hain" or is she still those who wants to gain public sympathy on basis of such movies.High time we accept either of the state of indian women!!!And seems Deepa mehta is definitely confused!

Abby said...

I tend to agree, a purposeless, beautful flick.

Priyanka said...

There are two more important 'purposes' for which filmmakers make films - for their own creative satisfaction & to make money!

Personally I prefer watching entertaining movies only, we all have enough trouble in our own lives to be paying money to shed some more tears at a fictional tragedy.

But then such films are made always & are usually considered more worthy by critics.

brij said...

Making such a movie, doesn't meaan that deepa want to earn sympathy / she is showcasing india as a backward country; Every Good film tells a story, and stories need not always be happy ending, or evil lost against good, a story is just a story, it might give a moral, but not neccessarily.

So, when you hear something so much compelling, like this story is and you are "Deepa Mehta", you think i'll also narrate this story, and thus a movie is born.

Purpose of a Good movie - Tell the audience a story. that's it...villain might win !, doesn't it happen in real life that people kill, rape, and do heinious crimes with good people / some really good people die unfatefull death.....Life is Rational....