7.3/10
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Fire (1996)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 22 August 1997 (USA)
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1:47 | Trailer

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Two women who are abandoned by their husbands, find love and solace in each other.

Director:

Deepa Mehta

Writer:

Deepa Mehta
7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Karishma Jhalani Karishma Jhalani ... Young Radha
Ramanjeet Kaur Ramanjeet Kaur ... Young Radha's mother
Dilip Mehta Dilip Mehta ... Young Radha's father
Javed Jaffrey ... Jatin (as Jaaved Jaaferi)
Nandita Das ... Sita
Vinay Pathak ... Guide at Taj Mahal
Kushal Rekhi Kushal Rekhi ... Biji
Shabana Azmi ... Radha
Ranjit Chowdhry Ranjit Chowdhry ... Mundu
Kulbhushan Kharbanda ... Ashok
Alice Poon Alice Poon ... Julie
Ram Gopal Bajaj ... Swamiji
Ravinder Happy Ravinder Happy ... Oily man in video shop
Devyani Saltzman Devyani Saltzman ... Girl in video shop (as Devyani Mehta Saltzman)
Sunil Chhabra 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:

Canada | India

Language:

English | Hindi

Release Date:

22 August 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fire - Wenn die Liebe Feuer fängt See more »

Filming Locations:

New Delhi, Delhi, India See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,384, 24 August 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$402,749, 12 October 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Sita: Isn't it amazing? We're so bound by customs and rituals. Somebody just has to press my button, this button marked Tradition, and I start responding like a trained monkey. Do I shock you?
Radha: Yes.
Sita: You're lovely.
See more »


Soundtracks

Bombay Theme
(1995)
Composed by A.R. Rahman
From the Bombay (1995) soundtrack
Available on CD & cassette from PolyGram India Ltd.
Courtesy of Mani Ratnam
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Worthwhile foreign film, good acting
30 April 2005 | by smatysiaSee 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.


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