Set in 16th Century India, Kama Sutra is the story of a young woman named Maya (a very beautiful Indira Varma) who has always lived in the shadow of her childhood friend, the well-born princess Tara (Sarita Choudhury), wearing her used clothes and being made to feel inferior. When Tara is betrothed to the King Raj Singh (Naveen Andrews, from Lost), Maya sneaks into the king's tent on the eve of the wedding and seduces him. The next day she taunts her rival: ``All my life I have lived with your used things. Now something I have used is yours forever.'' Maya is exiled from the village by the bitter Tara and drifts from town to town until she falls beneath the gaze of a sculptor (Ramon Tikaram). She becomes his lover and model, until he decides she cannot be both at the same time, and unwisely (in my opinion) prefers her as his model. She then meets a wise older woman (Rekha), who runs a school for courtesans, based on the ancient book ``Kama Sutra,'' or ``Lessons in Love.'' Maya proves a good student, telling her teacher: ``I want to learn the rules of love and how to use them. And if I can't use them on the one I love, I will use them on the ones I don't.'' She does indeed become accomplished as a courtesan, and eventually drifts back into the orbit of the royal court; the king takes her as his lover, and then there are boudoir intrigues involving the sculptor, whom Maya still loves.
It is a beautiful film, each frame a work of art and is one of my favorite films of all time.
C A S T:
Indira Varma: Maya
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