In stock

Fire Dvd

Sita and Radha are young Indian women whose husbands choose celibacy or mistresses over their wives. This leads them to form an intimate, passionate relationship amidst a close-minded society.


Categories: ,

Fire is a 1996 Indo-Canadian erotic romantic drama film written and directed by Deepa Mehta, starring Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das. It is the first installment of Mehta’s Elements trilogy; it is succeeded by Earth (1998) and Water (2005).


The film opens with young Radha sitting in a mustard field with her parents. Her mother tells her a tale of a person who wanted to see the ocean, but Radha says that she does not understand the moral of the story.

The film flashes forward to Sita, a newly married woman on honeymoon with her husband Jatin, who is distant and shows little interest in Sita. Jatin is in a typical joint-family arrangement – he lives with his older brother Ashok, his sister-in-law Radha, his paralysed mother Biji and the family servant Mundu. Ashok and Jatin run a small store that sells food and rents videotapes.

Jatin shows no care for Sita, and she learns that he only agreed to the arranged marriage in order to put an end to Ashok’s nagging. Jatin continues to date his modern Chinese girlfriend, and Sita does not rebuke him. The rest of Jatin’s home is not rosy either. Biji is immobile and speechless after a stroke, and Sita and Radha must constantly attend to her. Sita spends her days slaving in the hot kitchen, and finds herself lonely and frustrated at night because Jatin is out with his girlfriend. She yearns to break out of this stifling situation.

It is revealed that Radha faces a similar problem. Many years ago, Ashok had come under the influence of Swamiji, a local religious preacher, who teaches that desires are the cause of suffering and must be suppressed. Ashok is completely taken by these monastic teachings and suppresses all his desires. He also donates large sums from the meager store income to treat the Swamiji’s hydrocele condition. The Swamiji teaches that sexual contact is permitted only as a means for procreation, and Radha is infertile. Accordingly, Ashok aims to stamp out all his desires and has not slept with Radha for the past thirteen years. He puts Radha through an excruciating ritual in which they lie motionless next to each other whenever he wants to test his resolve. Radha is racked with guilt over her inability to have children and driven to frustration by the ritual.

While the older Radha remains bound by tradition and subdued into silence, the younger Sita refuses to accept her fate. Sita’s attitude slowly spills over onto Radha, who becomes slightly more assertive. One evening, shunned by their husbands and driven to desperation by their unfulfilled longings, Radha and Sita seek solace in each other and become lovers. Overjoyed at finding satisfaction in this manner, they continue it in secret. They eventually realise their love for each other and start looking for ways to move out. The pair’s daily antics and adventures are witnessed by Biji, who disapproves, but is unable to stop them. After some time, Mundu becomes aware of their relationship, and he causes Ashok to walk in on Radha and Sita.

Ashok is horrified. He is also shattered when he finds this incident has stoked his own long-dormant desire. Sita decides to pack her belongings and leave the house immediately, while Radha stays behind in order to talk to her husband. The women promise to meet each other later that night. Ashok confronts Radha, who overcomes her subservience and pours out her emotions. Amid this argument, Radha’s sari catches fire, and Ashok angrily watches her burn without helping. Radha puts out the flames and recalls her mother’s advice from when she was young – she can finally see her ocean.

An injured Radha leaves Ashok, moving out in order to join Sita.


Nandita Das as Sita
Shabana Azmi as Radha
Karishma Jhalani as young Radha
Ramanjit Kaur as Young Radha’s mother
Dilip Mehta as Young Radha’s father
Javed Jaffrey as Jatin
Vinay Pathak as Guide at Taj Mahal
Kushal Rekhi as Biji
Ranjit Chowdhry as Mundu
Kulbhushan Kharbanda as Ashok
Alice Poon as Julie
Ram Gopal Bajaj as Swamiji
Ravinder Happy as Oily man in video shop
Devyani Saltzman as Girl in video shop
Sunil Chabra as Milkman on bicycle
Avijit Dutt as Julie’s father
Shasea Bahadur as Julie’s brother
Meher Chand as Goddess Sita
Bahadur Chand as God Ram
Puran, Sohan Lal, Meher, Amarjit Chand, and Karahm Chand as ‘Ramayan’ theatrical troupe members
Kabir Chowdhury as Boy in video shop
Laurence Côte as French tourist at the Taj Mahal


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Fire Dvd”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *