Fire ★★½ 1996
Follows the relationship of two sistersinlaw in New Delhi—both stuck in frustrating, loveless marriages—while examining the harsh patriarchal culture of India. Radha (Azmi) is married to Ashok (Kharbanda), a video store clerk who has taken a vow of celibacy under the teachings of a scruffy swami. Sita (Das) is married to Ashok's brother Jatin (Jaaferi), who is openly having an affair with a Chinese Canadian woman. As her frustration grows, the younger Sita acts on her attraction to her sisterinlaw and the two begin a lesbian affair, which is taboo in the strict Hindu culture. Dialogue is in “Hinglish,” or English with occasional Hindi phrases thrown in. The attitudes portrayed must exist, because the film was banned in India. 104m/C VHS, DVD . CA Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das, Kulbashan Kharbanda, Jaaved Jaaferi, Ranjit (Chaudry) Chowdhry, Kushal Rekhi; D: Deepa Mehta; W: Deepa Mehta; C: Giles Nuttgens; M: A.R. Rahman.