A British satire of political muddle in Caribbean island, Water is a frenetic mishmash. Michael Caine is fine as a laidback British governor who is aptly described as ‘the Patty Hearst of the British diplomatic corps,’ but he can’t salvage a production that’s top heavy with multinational plots threatening the island’s harmony.
Those include a singing revolutionary (Billy Connolly) backed by Cubans, mindless British officials (a nice turn by the late Leonard Rossiter and a Margaret Thatcher send-up by Maureen Lipman), some fuzzy French-German intruders, and a US industrialist (Fred Gwynne) who’s exploiting the island’s underground reserves of mineral water.
The British filmmakers, who shot on the island of St Lucia, obviously were targeting the invasions of Grenada and the Falkland Islands as subjects of satire.
Playing Caine’s hysterical South American wife, Brenda Vaccaro hits the nadir of her career in a performance that is one unrelieved shriek.