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Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996)

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Two female friends become sexual rivals at maturity.

Director:

Mira Nair
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Indira Varma ... Maya
Sarita Choudhury ... Tara, the Queen
Ramon Tikaram ... Jai Kumar
Naveen Andrews ... Raj Singh
Rekha ... Rasa Devi, teacher of the Kama Sutra
Khalid Tyabji Khalid Tyabji ... Biki
Arundhati Rao Arundhati Rao ... Annabi
Surabhi Bhansali Surabhi Bhansali ... Young Maya
Garima Dhup Garima Dhup ... Young Tara
Pearl Padamsee Pearl Padamsee ... Maham Anga
Kusum Haidar Kusum Haidar ... Dilki
Harish Patel ... Doctor Mani
Ranjit Chowdhry Ranjit Chowdhry ... Babu
Achala Sachdev ... Rupa (as Achla Sachdev)
Achla Sachdev Achla Sachdev ... Rupa
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Storyline

Tara and Maya are two inseparable friends in India. Their tastes, habits, and hobbies are the same. Years later, the two have matured, but have maintained their friendship. Tara gets married to the local prince, Raj Singh, who soon succeeds the throne as the sole heir. After the marriage, Raj gets bored of Tara and starts seeking another female to satisfy his sexual needs. He notices Maya and is instantly attracted to her. He has her included as one of his courtesans, and is intimate with her. Watch what happens when Tara finds out and the extent she will go to keep her marriage intact. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Passion. Pleasure. Power. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong erotic sequences, nudity and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | India | UK | Japan | Germany

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kama Sutra See more »

Filming Locations:

Jaipur, Rajasthan, India See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$83,499, 2 March 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,109,095, 29 June 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In order to film in India, the production had to use a fake title "Tara and Maya". Indian authorities would not have permitted the film to be made there had they known its true title and content. See more »

Goofs

The bandage on Tara's wrist is missing as she extends her arm to Maya, but it reappears in the close-up of their arms in next sequence. See more »

Quotes

Raj Singh: Did they not prepare you? Did they tell you never to question your husband?
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Alternate Versions

The US theatrical version was cut to receive an R rating. The uncut version, rated NC-17, was released on video unrated. See more »


Soundtracks

The Toona Song
Written by Madan Gopal Singh
Performed by Shubha Mudgal
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User Reviews

rich and lovely
1 December 2004 | by robertsguentherSee all my reviews

i admire mira nair's films. she clearly loves India and its culture, a fact evident in all of her films i've had the pleasure of seeing. but her real art is showing her passion through so many prisms. vanity fair showed us India from the British home perspective which we usually see from western directors, while salaam bombay showed us modern urban India at its most destitute and triumphant. monsoon wedding introduces to the rapidly expanding Indian middle class, providing us with a far more intimate appreciation of her subjects than we might get calling for tech support for our computers or trying to understand a credit card bill.

kama sutra shows us India through yet another prism. first a prism of history, which she lushly recreates, and then through a prism of sexuality, which she (rightly) brandishes as legacy of a great and ancient culture. perhaps she suggests that the British morality imposed by the empire attempted, with some success, to obscure a vibrant and enthusiastic sexuality. well, if British sex is anything like British food, and Indian sex is like Indian food, she might have a point. curiously, i've been told that if you want to eat good English food in London, go curry.

i don't think that nair's ultimately interested in instructing us on sexual physics, or in telling us an epic melodrama. but through her four characters, she reveals love and sex as they are manifest continuously through the human story. a king imposes himself on his queen (patriarchy and rape), a king demands his coutesan (adultery and carnality), unrequited love (every character, each with a twist), jealousy, shame, sex as love, sex as passion, sex as brutality, and so on. the shades of sex that she reveals through her characters' relations are familiar, and she artfully sketches the nuances in three dimensions, where you rarely see more than one or two in Hollywood tripe. yet, like a good tikka masala, the chicken is familiar, but the colors and the flavor are distinctly and marvelously Indian.


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