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.
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.
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.
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.
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.