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

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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

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

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