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Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996, Naveen Andrews, Indira Varma)



In the court of 16th century India, two girls divided by birth are friends. Then their friendship is divided by sex. One learns of love-making from that irreplaceable handbook, the Kama Sutra. She practises on a court sculptor but the work she inspires catches the eye of the prince whose heart she had previously won, even though he is married to her old friend.

This is a highly decorative film, with the colours and filters lending it the exotic feel that such a story demands. The two men director Mira Nair casts are the more familiar to English audiences – Naveen Andrews from The Buddha of Suburbia and The English Patient and Ramon Tikaram from This Life – but this is much more a women’s picture in every sense and Indira Varma in particular invests the carefully taught seductress with a steely centre.

production details
UK – India – Japan – Germany / Film Four – NDF – Mirabai / 114 minutes / 1996

Writers: Mira Nair, Helena Kriel
Cinematography: Declan Quinn
Music: Mark Friedberg
Producers: Mira Nair, Lydia Dean Pilcher
Director: Mira Nair

Indira Varma as Maya
Naveen Andrews as Raj Singh
Ramon Tikaram as Jai Kumar
Sarita Choudhury as Tara