7.3/10
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57 user 30 critic

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: There is no word in our language that can describe us. How we feel for each other.
See more »


Soundtracks

Allah Hukh
Performed by Miraj Ahmed Kharval
See more »

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User Reviews

A Sensitive Love Story of Two Women Living In a Repressive Society
26 September 2004 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In the contemporary India, Jatin (Jaaved Jaaferi) is a man in love with the Chinese Julie (Alice Poon), who does not want to get married and become a housewife, since she intends to move to Hong Kong and become an actress. Due to the pressure of his family asking for a baby, Jatin decides to get married with the virgin Sita (Nandita Das) in a arranged marriage. Sita moves to the house of Jatin's family, where live on the second floor the matriarch Biji (Kushal Rekhi), the servant Mundu (Ranjit Chowdhry) and the unfertile Radha (Shabana Azmi) and her husband Ashok (Kulbhushan Kharbanda). On the first floor, they run a small business of video rental and food. Ashok opted for the celibate, since in his opinion, sex would be only for procreation and never for lust or desire. Both women are neglected by their husbands, and their loneliness turns into a lesbian relationship. I do not know much about Indian society, but I found this movie a sensitive and delicate love story of two needy women, born and raised in a repressive and male society. The story is never vulgar or erotic, and it is very easy to understand their attraction. The beauty of Nandita Das is very impressive. The direction and the performance of the cast is outstanding. Another excellent example of the Indian cinema. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): 'Fogo e Desejo' ('Fire and Desire')


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