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Radha (the radiant Shabana Azmi, one of India's pre-eminent stars) is the consummate Indian housewife, unwaveringly committed to her husband Ashok (Kulbushan Kharbanda), whom she wed in an arranged marriage fifteen years ago. Their mutual devotion has survived despite a childless, passionless marriage. They live with Ashok's younger brother, Jatin (Jaaved Jaaferi), who was recently pressured into an arranged marriage with Sita ( Nandita Das). Unlike his brother, Jatin rejects marital traditions and continues to see his mistress, Julie. Sita, however, as a new bride betrayed, has a few surprises of her own in store. Sita's sensual presence and excitable nature ignites emotions and feelings in Radha repressed long ago, and it is just a matter of time before they fall in love and set the home and screen on fire.
An intense, moving and sensuous portrait of change in contemporary India, FIRE focuses on several generations of a modern day New Delhi family. A re-working of a story from the classic Hindu Ramayana, Fire recounts the family's struggle to cope with the pressures of greater individual and personal freedom while maintaining allegiance to traditional values.
Director: Deepa Mehta
Music: A.R. Rahman
Cast: Shabana Azmi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Nandita Das, Javed Jaffrey
| RADHA is the devoted, duty-bound wife of the head of the family who, through her relationship with the free-spirited SITA, questions her faltering marriage.
SITA (Nandita Das) is a neglected new bride who will not accept the humiliation or neglect that her marriage forces upon her. The close bond she forges with her sister-in-law, RADHA has far reaching consequences.
ASHOK (Kulbushan Kharbanda) is devoted to his guru who preaches distance from desire and renunciation of earthly pleasures.
JATIN ( Jaaved Jaaferi) is a discontented young man in love with a Chinese woman. Under pressure, Jatin has an arranged marriage with SITA.
BIJI (Kushal Rekhi), the invalid mother to ASHOK and JATIN, has lost her ability to speak but still wields power within the family.