Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Set in 1938 Colonial India, against Mahatma Gandhi's rise to power, Water begins when 8-year-old Chuyia is widowed and sent to a home where Hindu widows must live in penitence. (Fox Searchlight)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Gallo
    100
    This work of gorgeous fury, about the virtual imprisonment of millions of Hindu widows in the years before independence, transforms Mehta's feminist rage into an eloquent testament to the hunger for freedom.
  2. Water, set in 1930s India, is something pretty rare in the world of movies: an artistic muckraker. It is superb and strange at once, a discreet and self-disciplined attack dog of a movie.
  3. Exquisite storytelling, acting and visuals.
  4. 75
    Lurking just beneath Water's serene, storybook surface is an unmissable, defiant passion.
  5. Mehta has created the perfect guide to this strange female world.
  6. 75
    The best elements of Water involve the young girl and the experiences seen through her eyes. I would have been content if the entire film had been her story.
  7. The movie takes the form of a lackluster women's-prison picture.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. RichardR.
    Apr 30, 2006
    10
    Very Touching Story.
  2. ArnoldP.
    May 5, 2006
    10
    The director eexquisitely reveals the results of an ancient prejudice using a amazing cast to open our hearts. Great insight into India and The director eexquisitely reveals the results of an ancient prejudice using a amazing cast to open our hearts. Great insight into India and humanity, where nothing is so strange we cannot identify with it. Runs the emotional range with an ending that made my spirit soar while my eyes filled with tears. Expand
  3. PrudenceK.
    Jul 29, 2006
    10
    Easily the funniest and saddest films of the year! I don't know. Sometimes I didn't know what was going on, I am fluent in Hindi Easily the funniest and saddest films of the year! I don't know. Sometimes I didn't know what was going on, I am fluent in Hindi though... so that was cool! I thought it was good when they cut her hair, it was so sad! I cried at that part. Oh! And I loved when they played with the dog, that was so cute! But it was mean when they cut her hair. But that lady was so mean! She was big! And she was obsessed with that bird! It was so weird! Cool film! Collapse
  4. JimG.
    Jun 12, 2006
    6
    This is the first movie where the depth of emotion conveyed left me thinking there were at least four lead characters. So many characters, so This is the first movie where the depth of emotion conveyed left me thinking there were at least four lead characters. So many characters, so well developed. Though I know people want to make this a one-issue movie, I found it effective in simply telling the story of the individual characters, showing us the truths of their lives even if we don't know all the events that preceded or anything that follows. Expand
  5. RiK.
    Aug 4, 2006
    5
    Attempts at creating an emotionally manipulative film were transparent. With a story that should have put a knot in my throat, I was left Attempts at creating an emotionally manipulative film were transparent. With a story that should have put a knot in my throat, I was left with only a sense of disgust with how the film was (unfittingly) made to look "beautiful". It's a very sad state of affairs when a formulaic quasi art film like this is the kind that gets P&A dollars to somehow break through, while there are so many genius American indies that we never get to see on the big screen, not to mention all the great foreign films that don't have to resort to cheesy love stories and "stylish" trick cinematography. It's even sadder that this film has received such a high meta score - is what is screened in American theaters these days so bad that "Water" is really so refreshing??? I believe this film is a crime to cinema. A ridiculous waste of gobs of money (production and marketing) only to ruin a truly interesting subject matter & potentially amazing story. Expand
  6. RahulK.
    May 14, 2006
    5
    A somewhat perplexing and maddening movie that doesn't really deliver on the promises suggested by the advertising. Yes, the scenery and A somewhat perplexing and maddening movie that doesn't really deliver on the promises suggested by the advertising. Yes, the scenery and settings are evocative, and create a strong image of a time and place, but the plot is meandering and plodding, and drags much more than necessary. Compounding this problem-- or perhaps causing it-- the characters are not easy to relate to. They are like one-dimensional cookie-cutter fillers that fail to pull you into the plot enough to send a clear and powerful message, which is unfortunate because this is primarily a political story of social inequality; and while it gets the point across about the treatment of widows in India, it really struggles at making the point stick because the characters are the kind that dissolve from memory moments after the film ends. Furthermore, the use of a white woman as the female lead and an Anglicized Indian guy as the male lead seems dishonest in the context of the film, a naked attempt to market the film to a Western audience that left a bad taste in my mouth. Another facet of the film that is irksome is the film's poster, which brags about how "religious extremists" tried to obstruct production of the movie and kill the director. This creates the illusion that this movie is going to be revelatory or shocking or a monumental historical event, but this is not really the case. The claims may be true, but they are not accurate indicators of the content of the movie; you could easily watch through the whole film and not think twice about anything you saw, much less consider it a matter of serious controversy (unless you are already familiar with the moral codes of fundamentalist Hindus). Of all the scenes, the final is by far the most emotionally demanding, but it seems tacked-on and manipulative rather than poignant and meaningful. "Water" is a cinematic curiosity, certainly, if only for the insight into another time and place, but in most other aspects, it is a forgettable movie packaged in "exotic-foreign-movie" marketing and nice scenery. 2/5 Expand
  7. BarbaraK.
    Jul 5, 2006
    2
    Tragedy as a perfume commercial.

See all 9 User Reviews

Trailers