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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 17 wins & 14 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?


Famous Indian actors Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das, who were the initial choices for the roles of Shakuntala and Kalyani even shot some scenes for this movie. However, that footage was scrapped as the filming could not be finished due to altercations by Hindu Fundamentalists. See more »


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


Bhagavati: God willing she'll reborn as a man.
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User Reviews

Hooray, Deepa!
23 November 2005 | by (Vancouver) – See all my reviews

I saw this film on a Saturday afternoon in a theater with about 40 other people, split about 60/40, females to males. All ages although the younger viewers were mainly female. (late teens) Towards the end, as I was choking back tears and grabbing at Kleenex's, I looked around as there was total silence from the audience. It was AWED SILENCE, people! Every woman was bawling her eyes out and the men, without exception, were scrunched down into their collars, staring intently, holding back tears. This is Deepa's finest hour. She can retire now knowing she has made a worthy film. I would have voted 10 but there were a few technical glitches such as one moment were the color/lighting changed for about 3 seconds in an important scene and then snapped back. No blame to Deepa, though. I have sent several to see the film and all have raved about it, Can hardly wait to buy the DVD and see it again. The criticisms were political and should not be considered. Any film that criticizes aspects of a religion gets blasted from fundamentalists. This film is NOT a political statement. It is entertainment based on a political statement. It should not be missed. Brava!!!

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