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Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love

322 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Naveen Andrews, Sarita Choudhury. This sultry tale of romance, lust and betrayal involves a beautiful servant girl who's trapped between her duty to the king and her one true love. 1997/color/114 min/unrated/fullscreen.

If you're looking for a deep, intelligently romantic movie with complex characters and a richly rewarding plot, don't bother with Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. On the other hand, if you're feeling sexy and in the mood for a lush, seductive, and visually stunning film set in 16th-century India, this one will please you like the best foreplay you've ever experienced. Or it will relax you like a full treatment at a pampering spa--either way, you're gonna feel pretty fantastic. Okay, okay... maybe we're getting a little carried away, but there's no denying that director Mira Nair (best known for her acclaimed film Salaam Bombay!) has crafted a sumptuous film for the eyes if not the head. Its melodramatic plot is involving enough to elevate the movie high above soft-core adult fare, so you won't feel guilty after watching it.

Kama Sutra is the story of a young woman named Maya (the stunning Indira Varma) who has always been lower on the social scale than her well-born friend Tara (Sarita Choudhury), and has always lived in Tara's shadow, wearing her used clothes and being made to feel inferior. When Tara is betrothed to the handsome King Raj Singh (Naveen Andrews, from The English Patient), Tara sneaks into the king's tent on the eve of the wedding and seduces him. Later, after being trained to master the Kama Sutra's many "lessons of love," Maya will be the king's courtesan, and emotions will run high between the former best friends. But the plot is of secondary importance here (a fact that resulted in many mixed reviews), and so Kama Sutra works best as a colorful and irresistibly sexy story that is worth seeing just for the startling beauty of the film and its cast. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Naveen Andrews, Sarita Choudhury, Indira Varma, Rekha, Khalid Tyabji
  • Directors: Mira Nair
  • Writers: Mira Nair, Helena Kriel, Wajida Tabassuh
  • Producers: Caroline Baron, Dinaz Stafford, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Michiyo Yoshizaki
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: July 1, 1998
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (322 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1573623849
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,699 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

183 of 190 people found the following review helpful By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 23, 2002
Format: DVD
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.
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 28, 2004
Format: DVD
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.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
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.
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