Water pollution is the subject of docu “Water,” yet Exxon Valdez merits nary a mention. The culprit here, rather, is “spiritual” water pollution, a dubious notion defined by a procession of scientists, researchers, clerics and alternative medicine specialists of widely varying believability (and speaking diverse languages rendered in English v.o.). Handsomely shot and briskly edited, Russian-produced docu presents a slippery compound of science, New Age mysticism and complete nonsense that, if the appetite for “The Secret” and “What the Bleep Do We Know!?” is any indication, could notch healthy niche numbers on homevid after token theatrical release, beginning April 18 in Los Angeles.
Film begins by discussing some of water’s more unique chemical properties: While the formula H2O remains constant, the clusters that individual water molecules form are extremely mutable and responsive to outside stimuli. From this relatively solid footing, the film then argues that water is vulnerable to destructive external influences, including insults, loud music and negative thoughts, that can sap its essence. (Apparently water has both a high surface tension and a remarkably thin skin.) While it never quite reaches Jack T. Ripper levels of absurdity, “Water” nonetheless drowns out its science with hazy spirituality and utterly preposterous claims. In the end, it all smells fishy.
— Andrew Barker