click for new
|Festivale Spring 1997|
If you have not seen a true Bollywood film (this Fire isnít), then you have missed a treat. Bollywood (Bombay Hollywood) is a strictly glossy genre of Indian films with extraordinarily extravagant musical production numbers that leave you wondering if an MTV music clip has been cut into the film. ITís not cinema verite.
Fire, on the other hand, endeavours to show Indian people in Indian society. It is a film about vision ó about learning to see what is beyond the limit of your eyes ó and beyond the limit of the life prescribed for you.
Two women are married to two brothers, and they all work in the family store. The women also work in the family home, which includes caring for the stroke-stricken matriarch (Kushal Rekhi).
They are sexual objects, discarded. The older brother has embraced a guru and uses his wife as a test of his celibacy, asking her to lie beside him, untouched. Her young sister-in-law is married to a reluctant bridegroom in love with an ambitious Chinese woman. He too ignores his wife, keeping her for possible future use as a baby maker.
What possibilities are open to these people?
Writer/Director Deepa Mehta uses the legend of Sita and Ram to show how difficult it is to win. Ram accuses Sita of being unfaithful to him. He demands that she be burnt to prove her love and faithfulness. She survives the fire, proving her good behaviour, only to be exiled, because she is a distraction from other, more important, things.
This film is a widow into a different way of life. The two brothers have different bedrooms,
one modern, one traditional. Their shop is part traditional food, part video store. The wives
are likewise traditional and daring.
|Definitely worth a look.|
|Just the Facts:
Title: Fire (1996)
|The Players: Kushal Rekhi; Shabana Azmi; Ranjit Chowdhry; Nandita Das; Jaaved Jaaffery.|
No other uses are permitted without the prior written consent of owner.
Use of the material in violation of the foregoing may result in civil and/or criminal penalties.
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
disclaimers | contact the editor | Festivale revision history
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia copyright © Festivale 2009 All rights reserved
Last tested: 3-Jul-2014 Last Compiled: 3-Jul-2014
Entire site refreshed: Dec 2008-Feb 2009 | Site URL transferred: Jan 2005 (previously www.festivale.webcentral.com.au)