KAMA SUTRA, A TALE OF LOVE
Release Date: February 01, 1997
Rating: Unrated by MPAA
Runtime: 120 minutes
Distributor: Trimark Pictures
Director: Mira Nair
Producer: Mira Nair & Lydia Dean Pilcher
Writer: Helena Kriel & Mira Nair
Address Comments To:Mark Amin, Chairman
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The movie skips ahead ten years to the wedding day of Prince Raj Singh, a neighboring ruler to Princess Tara. The young and attractive Singh comes to meet his bride but finds himself distracted by Mia’s beauty. Sensing this, Princess Tara spits in Mia’s face and a long dispute begins.
The bulk of the film attempts to present a treatise on true love. Love is considered a oneness or merging of lovers. Princess Tara is faced with the infidelity of her new husband, and Mia is faced with the cruelty of this same man. Having seduced Raj on his wedding night and having been caught in the act by Tara’s hunchback brother, Mia is exiled from her home.
In exile, she meets the ruddy and handsome stone worker and sculptor Jai Kumar. It is with Kumar that she begins to truly learn about love, not just lovemaking. When Raj comes searching for Mia, he discovers a sculpture by Kumar that looks like Mia, so Raj seeks her out. The story turns into a tale of one king’s obsession, jealousy and rage, as he plots to turn Mia into a harem slave and to kill her lover, Kumar.
Through its many twists and sordid scenes, the story plays out like a lost Shakespearean tragedy that should have remained undiscovered. It is tragedy in the classical sense. No one succeeds, which leaves the audience and the story in a very depressing place. It is not a model of encouragement nor light entertainment.
The cinematography is excellent, and the script writing is very good. Scenes seem to be well planned and there is evidence of a level of quality in production.. This high quality is matched by the level of performance of the actors. With these helps, the film could succeed in the art house circuit.
This is the kind of film that the cinema awards people will love for its eastern religion perspective, also promoting sensual hedonistic behavior. While purporting to teach Karma Sutra, it presents almost a wholly sensual look at the subject. There is some attention given to the spiritual side of it, but most of the attention is given to the physical act.
The film is filled with excessive nudity, and there is no use of innuendo because the film is so unapologetic in its graphic portrayal of every sexual encounter. The most damaging message of the film is the ultimate triumph of self. This is best exemplified by a line of the Raj Singh speaking to Mia saying, “the glory of god is in you.” By this, he reveals the depravity of his mind and the extent of his obsession. To him, the woman, the sexual encounter, the obsession -- these are god. It is a very sad story ending ultimately in tragedy and self destruction.
Through its many twists and sordid scenes, the story plays out like a lost Shakespearean tragedy that should have remained undiscovered. It is tragedy in the classical sense. No one succeeds which leaves the audience and the story in a very depressing place. This is the kind of film that the cinema awards people will love for its eastern religion perspective which promotes sensual hedonistic behavior. The film is filled with excessive nudity and scenes of sexual content. There is no need for innuendo because the film is so unapologetic in its graphic portrayal of every sexual encounter. This is pornography disguising itself as an art film