7.3/10
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55 user 37 critic

Fire (1996)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 22 August 1997 (USA)
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

Cast overview, first billed only:
Karishma Jhalani ...
Ramanjeet Kaur ...
Young Radha's mother
Dilip Mehta ...
Young Radha's father
...
Jatin (as Jaaved Jaaferi)
...
...
Guide at Taj Mahal
Kushal Rekhi ...
Biji
...
Ranjit Chowdhry ...
Mundu
...
Alice Poon ...
Julie
...
Swamiji
Ravinder Happy ...
Oily man in video shop
Devyani Saltzman ...
Girl in video shop (as Devyani Mehta Saltzman)
Sunil Chhabra ...
Milkman on bicycle
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Beneath the surface lies a burning secret. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

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)

Gross:

$402,749 (USA) (10 October 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Mundu: Shall we watch a video?
See more »

Connections

References Basic Instinct (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Allah Hukh
Performed by Miraj Ahmed Kharval
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User Reviews

 
Touching Love Story
7 February 2001 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This was a great film in every sense of the word. It tackles the subject of tribadism in a society that is quite intolerant of any deviations from the norm. It criticises a great many Indian customs that many find oppressive -- such as the arranging of marriages by others, the importance of status and face, religious hypocrisy, sexism, the valuation of women in terms of their baby-making capacity, the binding concepts of duty and so on. At the heart of the film is a touching love story that goes beyond such limitations of the society which the two protagonists find themselves. The film is well-acted and genuine, completely believable from beginning to end, unlike most Bollywood flicks. The main faults of the film as I saw it was first, that the two lovers seem drawn to one another not necessarily by a natural affinity for each other as much as the fact that they are stuck in dead-end marriages with no passion and no rewards. This may play a part in the sexual awakening of the characters, but most people stuck in the same situation will not "turn homosexual". It seems clear from the beginning of the film that the two characters are quite heterosexual -- when Radha does her scene at the end of the movie with Aashok, she makes it quite clear that "without desire she was dead", and the implication was that if he had desired so, he could have fulfilled her quite completely, and also when Sita seemed very disappointed when her husband seemed to not like her. Such situations do not turn people into homosexuals -- they may seek comfort in others in the same position, but inthe film it is not at all made clear that they are lesbians from the beginning -- quite the opposite. Some people are bisexual, it is true, but most tend to be either hetero- or homosexual. In the case of the ladies in the film, both had insensitive jerks for husbands . . . if this had not been the case, would they have naturally found the need to express their desire in a relationship that they may have otherwise not have considered? The film ignores this. The other fault is the naming of the characters . . . the names Sita and Radha seem contrived deliberately to shock and outrage (imagine a film in America depicting a gay relationship between a man named "Jesus" and another named "Paul"!) by using names associated with various Hindoo scriptures. The film is strong enough to stand on its own and needs no such devices in my opinion. At any rate, the faults do not take much away from the power of the movie. It is indeed a very touching and powerful story -- the images and characters will stay with you a long time after you leave the theatre.


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