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Water (I) (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  26 May 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 11,942 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 145 user | 91 critic | 25 from

The film examines the plight of a group of widows forced into poverty at a temple in the holy city of Varanasi. It focuses on a relationship between one of the widows, who wants to escape the social restrictions imposed on widows, and a man who is from the highest caste and a follower of Mahatma Gandhi.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarala Kariyawasam ...
Chuyia (as Sarala)
Buddhi Wickrama ...
Rinsly Weerarathne ...
Chuyia's Husband
Iranganie Serasinghe ...
Mother in Law (as Iranganee Serasinghe)
Hermantha Gamage ...
Ronica Sajnani ...
Manorama ...
Madhumati (as Manorma)
Meera Biswas ...
Vidula Javalgekar ...
'Auntie' Patiraji (as Dr. Vidula Javalgekar)
Sanoja Bibile ...
Woman Bather
Dolly Ahluwalia ...
Upset Woman (as Dolly Ahluwalia Tewari)


A thesis picture. In 1938, Gandhi's party is making inroads in women's rights. Chuyia, a child already married but living with her parents, becomes a widow. By tradition, she is unceremoniously left at a bare and impoverished widows' ashram, beside the Ganges during monsoon season. The ashram's leader pimps out Kalyani, a young and beautiful widow, for household funds. Narayan, a follower of Gandhi, falls in love with her. Can she break with tradition and religious teaching to marry him? The ashram's moral center is Shakuntala, deeply religious but conflicted about her fate. Can she protect Kalyani or Chuyia? Amid all this water, is rebirth possible or does tradition drown all? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

widow | tradition | love | ashram | india | See All (209) »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving sexual situations, and for brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

26 May 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agua  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$56,280 (USA) (28 April 2006)


$3,222,857 (USA) (1 September 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Deepa Mehta's mother saw John Abraham in the movie Jism (2003) and liked him so much that she asked Deepa to consider him for a role in this film. See more »


Kalyani's dog appears older in the scene in which it escapes than the next time it is shown. See more »


Kalyani: 'Learn to live like the lotus untouched by the filthy water it grows in.' Krishnaji said it in the Geeta
Narayana: Krishna was a god. Not everyone can live like the lotus flower.
Kalyani: Yes, they can.
See more »


References Sansho the Bailiff (1954) See more »


Chan Chan
See more »

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User Reviews

Water-essential for survival
24 March 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I felt really really sad after watching this movie. After watching a movie like this one feels empathy towards the women. We know women and children are being treating worse than patriarchy.

Most women in the western world to not even know the meaning of this word. In North America what is the worse thing that happens to us...we encounter betrayal and gossip mostly by other women. We are too busy comparing ourselves to even appreciate our rights. Oprah (has said) that we are lucky just to be born in North America.

All the women in this movie were strong willful characters, like many Indian women they accepted their fate, BUT they still made choices. Lisa Ray's character still fell in love despite her destiny. Despite her circumstances she was so mentally, spiritually, emotionally and overall more evolved than John's character.

One even feels empathy towards him, as a man he is so out of touch with reality...he lives life according to his idealism. This is how he copes with struggles in his life. He choices are also constrained by circumstance From an outsiders point of view, John's character seems to have it all, respect, a sweet mom (Waheeda). I loved WR in Guide that is one of my favorites. His world shatters when he learns of his fathers secrets...

Lisa's character knows her fate, yet she takes the initiative to follow her heart. As a Canadian I am really proud of WATER, I usually do not watch these kinds of movies but sometimes a wake up call is necessary especially when we are wrapped up in our own selfish needs. Water is masterpiece...I am proud of Lisa Ray for taking the time and actually learning about the craft of acting.

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