Maya is a king's courtesan who is forbidden to embrace her true love but she becomes defiant, rebelling against ancient tradition.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 30-JUN-1998
Media Type: DVD
Watched this years ago. For those with a dirty mind (LOL) this is not the movie for you. Its a love story. A heart warming and heart braking tale. No major skin shots its all about body language and eye contact. Destiny and fate. I wont give it away just watch it. Youll like it unless your looking for smut.
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Frank E. (realartist) from HENDERSONVLLE, NC Reviewed on 7/29/2009...
The Kama Sutra : A Tale of Love . Quite an exotic film, as anyone might guess from the title alone. This is a very interesting production filmed entirely with an Indian cast. The imagery and music is all you might expect-and you will not be disappointed. This kind of film is for hard core arm chair travelers who delight in taking a trip back in time and to exotic places. It is not nearly so erotic , or shall we say titillating, as one might think. It is done in good taste, with love scenes rather demure and not explicitly done-although with some full frontal nudity of the young, attractive romantic leads. The male leads are none too unattractive either.
The story involves a pair of childhood friends-one given in marriage to the local Raj. The other young woman is a servant girl, that happens to find herself involved with the King...and the King's Sculptor/artist. Naturally, the sparks fly-and broken hearts.
For those film lovers who just happen to be intimately familiar with our Judeo/Christian belief-it is tempting to look upon this 'debauched' culture as hopelessly lost. Indeed, it makes one think of how things may actually have been throughout human history-especially in Biblical times.
The Hebrew children who had been condemned to wander in the desert for 40 years until all perished but Joshua-there is a 'scene' in this story of the Exodus where the Moabite women came and seduced the men. One can easily imagine the women in this film as being of those enormously attractive and seductive types. This continued throughout the history of Israel, causing no small amount of repeated marital failure, economic collapse, crop failure, and military defeat. The book of Judges chronicles seven generations of such repeated spiralling into ruin.
This film ends with a denoument that suggests that 'this is the way it is, and nothing can be done about it'...or "It's all good"...wellllll...not exactly! WE can all do better. A few prominent politicians finding themselves embroiled in scandal comes to mind-suggesting that we so called Christians don't have such a stellar moral record ourselves, ahem!
This is a thought provoking movie in any case. I recommend it to anyone. Not an academy award winner; nonetheless, it should give us all pause, and compel us to wonder if maybe we could behave a little better; and really should-especially if we don't like the idea of drought, crop failure, fires, floods, hurricanes, volcanoes,outbreak of disease, prolonged economic depression, followed by stunning military defeat?......but "naaaaaah" "Party on Dude"..yeah...right!
VEry nice imagery, filming and authentic music.
THE KAMA SUTRA IS BROUGHT TO LIFE...
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 06/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a lushly lavish, sensuously beautiful film, superlatively directed by Mira Nair, a world class director noted for such other cinematic masterpieces as "Salaam Bombay", "Mississippi Masala", and the more recent art house feature, "Monsoon Wedding". As are her other films, "Kama Sutra" is an intelligent and mesmerizing story, peppered with excellent performances by a stellar cast.
Set in sixteenth century India, this is the story of Maya (Indira Varma), a servant girl and companion to Tara (Sarita Choudry), a Maharani destined to be Queen to a Raj. Childhood friends, they are to become palace rivals as the fates pit them one against the other, only to have them both become casualties of love. Maya, tired of being treated as a second class citizen and of receiving Tara's castoff clothing, makes a life defining decision on the eve of Tara's marriage to Raj Singh (Naveen Andrews). Sensing that the Raj desires her, Maya gives herself to him, later telling Tara that it is she who now has a cast off from Maya.
After Tara departs with her husband, Maya's perfidy is revealed to the household by Tara's hunchbacked brother, who, coveting Maya for himself, had spied upon her and saw her in flagrante delicto with the Raj. Ousted by Tara's outraged family, Maya leaves to make her way in the world. She comes across a sculptor, Jai Kumar (Ramon Tikarum), of Raj Singh's royal household and falls in love with him. Unfortunately, timing is everything. By the time Jai realizes that he, too, is in love with her, it is too late, as Maya is now the favorite courtesan of the by now debauched Raj, who is obsessed with her and cannot seem to get her out of his system, much to the dismay of Tara, as well as Jai.
Trained in the arts of love by the graceful and beautiful Rasa Devi (Rekha), Maya, as a royal courtesan, is a sensuous, beautiful sylph. Tara, now the Queen, is insanely jealous of her husband's desire for Maya, but must tolerate it, as must Jai, as it is a culturally accepted way of life. Unfortunately, when the Raj discovers that Maya and Jai are still in love, all hell breaks loose, and the piper must be paid.
This is a wonderful film of a woman's journey to find herself within culturally imposed constraints. It is a tale of the vicissitudes of life that leave imprints on one's journey. Told in the context of carnal love and desire, it also tells of a love sublime. This is essentially a woman's film, sensuous and erotic in its imagery, a veritable sumptuous feast for the senses. While there is some nudity in the film, it is tastefully and beautifully filmed, as well as highly erotic.
Indira Varma, in what is her screen debut, is sensational as the entrancing Maya, imbuing her with an impishness, as well as with a sinuous and provocative sensuality. Sarita Choudry, of "Mississippi Masala" fame, is excellent as the beautiful and exotic Tara, who appears to be relegated to a life of frigidity and jealousy. Rekha, the well known and exquisitely beautiful Indian actress, is hypnotic as Rasa Devi, teacher of the Kama Sutra. Naveen Andrews gives a good performance as the debauched Raj, and Ramon Tikarum is compelling as the conflicted artist. They both, however, take a backseat to the women in the film.
Filmed on location in India, this is a film that should be watched for its sheer beauty. Bravo! "
A tale of love about the art of love
Amanda Richards | Georgetown, Guyana | 12/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hotter than "Fire", but without the same depth of emotion and not much of a story line, Kama Sutra comes over as a beautiful art movie, with magnificent scenery, brilliant color, and maximum use of nature, light and texture. Yes, there are also love scenes that are not for the prudish, and some full frontal female nudity and bare backsides, but in essence it is a story of love and loss and debauchery and death.
Indira Varma is captivating as the servant girl Maya, portraying her as young, flirtatious and resilient, while at the same time, regal and vulnerable. Her lovely eyes speak volumes, and there are entire scenes that are conveyed without the need for dialogue.
Sarita Choudhury plays a major supporting role as Tara, the intended bride of Raj Singh (Naveen Andrews). Although a lifelong friend of Maya, she turns on her in a fit of jealousy when the Raj lets his gaze wander to Maya on their very first meeting, and her reaction causes Maya to flee the room in shame.
Seeking revenge, Maya makes a pre-marital visit to the Raj, and gives herself to him in a performance that he never forgets.
She however forgets that people who live in transparent tents shouldn't fool around, and when the night's events are disclosed by Tara's humpbacked peeping tom of a brother, whom Maya has rejected outright as a husband, she has no choice but to leave her home as a fallen woman.
Unlike the popular advertisement however, she is able to get up, and thanks to the artistic skill of a stone carver Jai Kumar (Ramon Tikaram) and the friendship and teaching of Rasa Devi, (Screen legend Rehka) teacher of the Kama Sutra, she finds new confidence and a whole new attitude. She falls for Jai big time, but unfortunately for him, he doesn't react well to unconditional love and chases her straight into the open arms of Raj Singh as his #1 favorite courtesan.
Tara is now living the life of the neglected wife of a debauched husband, and has a disastrous wedding night when he calls her another woman's name. Her unhappiness is aggravated when she discovers Maya lolling off in a hot tub at the palace, and unable to cope with her situation decides on a drastic course of action.
Raj is by now totally obsessed with Maya, and when he discovers that his stone carver friend and his number one girl have not only rekindled the flames, but are busy fanning them when he's not around, he goes berserk, and orders the appropriate punishment for Jai.
To close things off, while Raj has been partying, his kingdom has been falling, and you don't need a fat lady singing to tell you that it's over for him.
Excellent performances by Indira Varma, Sarita Choudhury and Rekha make this movie worthwhile, and the attention to detail by Mira Nair makes for beautiful watching.
Amanda Richards, December 29, 2004 "
In the best traditions of "1000 and 1 nights"!
zara_azari | 06/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is, indeed, a Tale, a tale for adults... For in the East, it has always been known that adults NEED and enjoy tales no less than any child would.This story is about LOVE (of course), true love broken by the society and its "powerful ones". In this case, the powerful one is a Prince, evil yet very sexy Naveen Andrews (Kip in "The English Patient"). The object of his desire is Maya, who is forced to become courtesan, after some unfortunate events. But, Maya was brought up as a princess...Indeed, Maya grew up with the evil Prince's future wife-to-be, Tara, so it gets very complicated: Prince has beautiful Tara, but he desires beautiful Maya (they are both so beautiful, why not have them both?...Prince manages to do that for quite some time).There is another amazingly beautiful woman in this film, whom I enjoyed seeing on screen once again: famous Indian actress, Rasa Devi, playing Rekha-- older courtesan and Maya's mentor, and what a wonderful mentor she is!In short, Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, is one of the most beautiful and most sensuous films in years. It is entertaining and at the same time philosophical! It was nice to see "making love"-scenes, as oppose to random and mostly meaningless sex-scenes that seem to dominate today's cinema.I only regret that there wasn't more dancing in this film. I also regret over-using the word "beautiful" in my review:)....but, in this case, it is more than appropriate."
It's not what you think.......
ice_angel7 | USA | 07/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone sits down to watch this movie thinking it's going to be about sex and they're dissappointed when it isn't a kinky flick. There is some sex in the movie, however, it is about two young girls who are trying to find out who they are in a world where men control everything...even their bodies. As they become young women, they begin to take control of their own lives and take control of which man they choose to be with in life. I loved it. I bought it. All of the characters are really beautiful and the few lovemaking scenes that were shown were very intimate and classy. The first time I watched this movie I watched it with my mom and I wasn't totally embarrassed...and we both liked the movie. I say see it for yourself. While you're at it...try and see everything ever made by the director, "Mira Nair"...you will not be dissappointed."
Beauitful, Enchanting India
R. Martin | Seattle, WA United States | 01/13/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Directed by Mira Nair, the talented force behind the recent Monsoon Wedding, Kama Sutra is an earlier take of her beautiful vision of India. Ms. Nair has a flair for showing her native country with all its loveliness unfurled, entrancing people of all ilk with its endless vistas and melting sunsets. How can we resist her India, with its beguiling glimpses of beautiful women and passionate men as sculpted as the statues that adorn the Hindu temples (often used as incidental scenery). The colors in each frame, from the glinting edges of whirling saris to the flower petals that flow over the steps of the royal residence like a red river, are enchantingly brilliant. They draw the viewer into this Technicolor world without hesitation. With all this beautiful scenery, one wonders why Ms. Nair even bothers to have a plot. Unfortunately, once one is done watching this movie, the question remains unanswered. Many people will rent this movie for its title, known for the famous book of sexual positions so widely read by college dorm-goers. But if one is looking for a more visual reenactment of this lovely text, be prepared to be dispassionate. Though the movie is superficially about the life of a courtesan, its sex scenes are carefully choreographed to prohibit any real sensuality from coming out. Though the participants are beautiful, the end result lacks real passion, making these scenes a mere revel in the beauty of human form. Unfortunately, as the plot hinges on these incidental sex scenes, the rest of the movie really doesn't move along. We might care a little for Maya, the film's main figure, but her inability to free herself or her lover from their predicaments makes us wonder why the filmmaker made such a big deal about her supposed independence in the first place. If you would like a film to show you an ideal 15th century India abounding with glitter, look no further. If you're looking for a movie with plot, look elsewhere (try Monsoon Wedding on for size)."