• Released
  • August 22, 1997
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • Action/Adventure
    Drama
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88

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
Mehta has created a pair of memorable characters who are easy to empathize with, and who gratifyingly are never transformed from flesh-and-blood individuals into mere symbols.
Full Review
80

Washington Post

In filmmaker Mehta's deft hands, the outcome is handled with power and sensitivity. [22 Aug1 997, pg.N40]
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Peter Stack
The richness of characters make this movie shine. It's just that, somehow, a certain sense of fire is missing.
Full Review
75

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Rick Groen
The film lacks flow, unfolding in a rat-a-tat series of short, artfully lensed scenes -- individually nice but collectively jerky.
Full Review
75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
The two women are very beautiful, gentle and sad together, and the movie is all but stolen by Chowdhry, as the servant who lurks constantly in the background providing, with his very body language, a comic running commentary.
Full Review
67

Austin Chronicle

By Marjorie Baumgarten
For a film with such volatile subject matter, the performances are subdued and naturalistic. Fire burns with a rare flame.
Full Review
67

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
As a director, Mehta would do well to stop smothering her empathy in glibness (she uses the family's ancient mute grandmother as a sitcom prank), but her empathy pokes through nonetheless.
Full Review
60

Empire

By David Parkinson
Audacious, yet sensitive, Fire may shock traditionalists but is the sort of film that ought to win Indian cinema a whole new audience.
Full Review
50

San Francisco Examiner

By Walter Addiego
The title comes from Indian legend in which Lord Rama tests the purity of his wife by a flaming ordeal (which we see enacted in an open-air pageant with comic overtones of Bunuel). This bit of mythology too handily prefigures a major element in the film's conclusion.
Full Review
50

Christian Science Monitor

By David Sterritt
Written and directed by Deepa Mehta, this Indian production is not filmed very interestingly, but reveals much about conflicts between traditional and modern attitudes in Indian society.
Full Review
64 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.