Deepa Thoughts : Heaven on Earth
Deepa Mehta (right) is my favourite director for a multitude of reasons. Her latest effort after her well-deserved Oscar nomination for Water, is her beautiful, Heaven on Earth. The crowds gathered outside the Visa Screening room at the Elgin Theatre, anxious to catch a glimpse of this Canadian gem pull up to the red carpet. Brightly coloured saris and Punjabi dresses filled the long line of devoted Mehta fans.

Mehta is a genius in her vision once again with this story about a young woman that moves to Toronto, Chand (played by established Bollywood actress, Preity Zinta) from India to marry Rocky (Vansh Bardwaj). Upon arriving in this foreign land signals the initiation of a tumoteous time for Chand. However, more importantly this initiates her own personal revolution and growth into following her own path.

The imagery is striking and the subject matter is passionate: diaspora, marital violence a great appreciation for Indian culture, while also questioning some of its long-withstanding traditions. The entire cast is solid, and Mehta mentioned that she tried to use largely a Canadian crew for Heaven on Earth (Preity Zinta front, and some cast pictured right). You could literally not hear a pin drop. The crowd watched with intent to see what would happen next to the warm, intelligent and beautiful Chand. Collective sighs of outrage was the flying emotion among spectators.

Mehta spoke when introducing the film, "Toronto has the best audiences," and for that you could see she was thankful. One of my favourite things about this film is that takes place in Toronto and in shoot in the Greater-Toronto-Area. You could easily identify landmarks such as Square One and the Lakeshore. This made seeing this film feel just a little bit more like home for its audience.

The journey of Chand comments that so many come from afar and unwillingly loose so much of themselves along the way. However, the hardest but most gratifying endeavor is to take your power back and take control of your destiny as you wish to see it unfold.

Being raised in the Indian culture and exposed to many films, I have not seen a director with a more formidable, realistic and genuine hope to spark social change than Mehta. I have always appreciated her work because she takes risk and deals beyond Bollywood, with the real issues at hand. Respect.