Water Reviews

Top Critic

Variety
February 23, 2012
Top Critic
Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Time Out
May 31, 2007
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
July 19, 2006
Quite possibly the best picture of the year thus far, with no fewer than three of the most luminous female performances I have ever seen onscreen.
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
July 7, 2006
Mehta prevailed, and this scandalous, beautiful and very moving tale of repression, hope and a tragedy is her triumph, and Hindu India's shame.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 20, 2006
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
May 19, 2006
Unfolds with the clean, simple lines of a fairy tale, and if the characters initially seem to be too black-or-white to be believable, the moral complexity of the story reveals itself in a gradual, subtle manner.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
May 18, 2006
Ebbs and flows with devastating truths and profound insights into the hypocrisy of extremism in any religion.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
May 12, 2006
Mehta's film is courageous and reticent, a shout masquerading as a whisper.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
May 12, 2006
Reminds us that Mehta is a filmmaker of courage -- she refused to abandon this film even after fundamentalist protestors shut down the production in India -- and singular style, telling stories that have never been told on screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
May 11, 2006
You'll leave the theater with a lot to think about, especially regarding the plight of women around the globe.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 11, 2006
Packs a punch that is difficult to parry.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
May 10, 2006
The final chapter in Mehta's feminist trilogy (Fire, Earth), is, alas, the weakest.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
May 5, 2006
Below its surface, Water isn't about religion, politics or even India. It's about timeless and universal divides between people, when humanity is eclipsed by self-serving subjugation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
May 5, 2006
It levels its criticisms within a climate of respect, a combination that creates a work of true humanity.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 5, 2006
The film is lovely in the way Satyajit Ray's films are lovely. It sees poverty and deprivation as a condition of life, not an exception to it, and finds beauty in the souls of its characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Louise Kennedy
Boston Globe
May 5, 2006
Succeeds in its central goal: to turn a forgotten class of women into real, memorable human beings who deserve a different life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
May 4, 2006
It is superb and strange at once, a discreet and self-disciplined attack dog of a movie.
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 4, 2006
Profound, passionate and overflowing with incomparable beauty.
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
May 4, 2006
Water runs deep because Mehta is an able -- if somewhat gloomy -- storyteller.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
May 4, 2006
Like India's greatest filmmaker, Satyajit Ray, Mehta is a great pure-hearted storyteller and a maker of shining naturalistic images.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
May 1, 2006
Pretty amazing stuff. Pretty incredible movie.
Top Critic
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
April 28, 2006
... an important movie that captures the beginning of modern India in scenes of Gandhi preaching his message of freedom.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
April 28, 2006
Taken as a whole, Water presents a damning view of this aspect of fundamental Hinduism.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
April 28, 2006
Lyrical imagery is matched with subtle performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
April 28, 2006
... Deepa Mehta's controversial new epic is driven by a scorching urgency whose intensity exceeds even the previous two installments of Mehta's Elements trilogy of Indian romances.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
April 28, 2006
Although Water is easily Ms. Mehta's richest and most complex film, it is still the work of a humanitarian, made with incredible tenderness and real concern for the plight of her female characters.
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
April 28, 2006
... a gorgeously shot, melancholy drama about a 7-year-old girl sent to live in a 'widows' house' in 1938 India.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
David Chute
L.A. Weekly
April 28, 2006
... hitches some of the most irresistible conventions of Hindi movie melodrama to an earnest agenda of social protest.
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
April 28, 2006
... the incessant references to Gandhi keep gumming up the class-war love story.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
April 28, 2006
Mehta has inspired her cast to rise from one dramatic challenge to another, and her film is charged throughout with the tension between the wisdom of accepting one's lot in life and the urge to resist it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
April 28, 2006
... Water is an exquisite film about the institutionalized oppression of an entire class of women and the way patriarchal imperatives inform religious belief.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
April 27, 2006
It could really use a dose of Fire's heat.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Bill Gallo
Village Voice
April 25, 2006
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.
Top Critic
Eddie Cockrell
Variety
November 4, 2005
Deftly balancing epic sociopolitical scope with intimate human emotions, all polished to a high technical gloss, Deepa Mehta's Water is a profoundly moving drama.
Top Critic
Susan Walker
Toronto Star
November 4, 2005
Mehta has concocted a potent mix of politics, historical conflict, religion and philosophical questioning.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
November 4, 2005
Both the plot and its symbolism are transparently basic, yet Mehta handles them with a quiet, lyrical assurance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
September 9, 2005
Like Bandit Queen and Maya, Water bravely delves into outmoded social traditions of India, thus roiling the waters of religious fundamentalism, which might mean that Deepa Mehta's film will never get past the censors in that country.