Fire (1996)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  22 August 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,585 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 54 user | 36 critic | 14 from

Ashok runs a family business that sells takeout food that also has a video rental store at the side. Ashok's extended family includes his wife Radha, his brother Jatin, their ailing mother ... See full summary »



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7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Karishma Jhalani ...
Ramanjeet Kaur ...
Young Radha's mother
Dilip Mehta ...
Young Radha's father
Javed Jaffrey ...
Jatin (as Jaaved Jaaferi)
Guide at Taj Mahal
Kushal Rekhi ...
Ranjit Chowdhry ...
Alice Poon ...
Ram Gopal Bajaj ...
Ravinder Happy ...
Oily man in video shop
Devyani Saltzman ...
Girl in video shop (as Devyani Mehta Saltzman)
Sunil Chhabra ...
Milkman on bicycle


Ashok runs a family business that sells takeout food that also has a video rental store at the side. Ashok's extended family includes his wife Radha, his brother Jatin, their ailing mother Biji and their manservant Mundu, all living under the same roof. Jatin, at the insistence of Ashok and their mother, Biji, agrees to marry the beautiful Sita in an arranged marriage, although he is actually in love with Julie, a Chinese-Indian. At first glance, you see a happy middle-class family going through the normal paces of everyday life. However, as the layers are slowly peeled back, we find a simmering cauldron of discontent within the family, with almost every family member living a lie. Both marriages in the family turn out to be emotionally empty, without love or passion. While Ashok is an ascetic who has taken a vow of celibacy, Jatin is a handsome ladies' man who is still openly seeing Julie even after his marriage to Sita. Ashok has pledged his total devotion to a religious holy man, a... Written by Hariharan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

marriage | fire | servant | friend | bell | See All (83) »


Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 August 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fire - Wenn die Liebe Feuer fängt  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,384 (USA) (22 August 1997)


$402,749 (USA) (10 October 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On its opening day in India, some movie theaters were attacked by Hindu fundamentalists, and the movie was eventually banned for religious insensitivity. The film was banned in Pakistan for the lesbian relationship that the movie plays around. See more »


Swamiji: What I saw in the bedroom was a sin in the eyes of God and man.
See more »


References The Joy Suck Club (1994) See more »


Main Hoon
Performed by Mehnaz Begum
Composed and Arranged by Merlyn D'Souza
Courtesy of BMG Crescendo (India) Pvt. Ltd.
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User Reviews

Worthwhile foreign film, good acting
30 April 2005 | by (Houston) – See all my reviews

A fairly interesting look at some characters from India's burgeoning middle class. Although India is rapidly modernizing, her culture is not keeping up. This film involves the patriarchal society, where women are not yet truly free citizens. A land of arranged marriages, men who dally with mistresses with total impunity, and women who are expected to tolerate all this, will eventually come up short. I was impressed with Nandita Das, who was quite attractive, and played her character with total earnestness. But I was even more impressed with Shabana Azmi, who I understand is a long-time fixture of Bollywood. Her quiet beauty and low-key psychic suffering was excellent. The lesbian subtext of this film was never particularly erotic, and never titillating. (Darn!) Worth a look for those interested in vastly different cultures.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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