Interfaith Movie Reviews: Hinduism Edition – Water (2005)

By: Dania Ahmed

Rating: 4.8/5 

I would recommend this movie to all my friends so they can understand more about the Hindu religion in this particular time period and regime in India. 

Water (2005), is a Hindu movie about an eight year old child bride Chuyia who had become widowed. She was taken to live the rest of her days in seclusion with a bunch of other widows. When in this position, each widow has to shave their head, and wear white clothes for the rest of their life. She adapts to her new life and meets a young girl who keeps her long hair because it brings in the money to help the home stay afloat. Water is one of the best movies I have ever watched! It showed how Hindu women were treated when their husbands died due to a rigid caste system and strict social norms. It was a very educational film that allowed me to discover more about the Hindu religion, and how the women in that particular historical and social context were treated. It is a sad yet moving story that unlike fictional movies, gives the audience insight into how Hindu culture was like in the past, but also allows for the interconnected nature of money and politics in relation to or in the guise of religion to be seen. It is said that this movie was banned in India when it was first released because it contained certain ideas or truths that the general public was not to be aware of, but this is an unsubstantiated rumour I have heard. My favourite part of the movie was at the beginning when Chuyia’s husband was being taken to a lake where he was put to rest. This was my favorite part not because he died, but because water is a very symbolic part of the Hindu religion and it is connected to the title. This action really amplified the symbolisms of Hindu rituals in the movie. Water is a sacred element for Hindus all over the world because it holds purifying and cleansing powers that help the soul of each Hindu person. If I had to critique the movie, I would change the ending because it had an unfulfilling cliff hanger. By Chuyia’s character being left in the hands of an elusive and abstract idea of Gandhi, the audience is left with a sense of restlessness and anxiety as we all hope for a better life for the young girl. All in all, although the ending in my opinion was not ideal, the movie itself was an eye opening and intriguing piece of cinematic art that very subtly exposed the intertwining natures of money, politics, religion, and societal expectations/norms in India.

Watch the movie here! :

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