4.6/10
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Agnivarsha: The Fire and the Rain (2002)

Agni Varsha (original title)
In a draught-stricken kingdom, two rival priests, Yavakri and Parvasu, try to appease the rain god through their respective methods that lead to adultery, treachery, and murder.

Director:

Arjun Sajnani

Writers:

Girish Karnad (play), Anil Mehta (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jackie Shroff ... Paravasu
Kumar Iyengar Kumar Iyengar ... Senior Courtier
Raveena Tandon ... Vishakha
Nagarjuna Akkineni ... Yavakri (as Nagarjuna)
Ashfaq Rauf Ashfaq Rauf ... King
Milind Soman ... Arvasu
Sonali Kulkarni ... Nittilai
Gopal Piplani Gopal Piplani ... Junior Courtier
Prabhu Deva ... Rakshasa (as Prabhudeva)
Tarun Kapoor Tarun Kapoor ... Courtier
Raghuvir Yadav ... Actor Manager (Sutradhar)
Mohan Agashe ... Raibhya
Veena Sajnani Veena Sajnani ... Actor Manager's Wife
Sandeep B.G. Sandeep B.G. ... Vishwa
Zul Vellani Zul Vellani ... Andhaka
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Storyline

The film is Based on an incident from the Mahabharata and also made as a play on a Girish Karnad titled Fire in the Rain. The film features Amitabh Bachchan in a cameo appearance as Lord Indra. Jackie Shroff plays the main lead in the film as Puravasu the head priest, Raveena playing the role of his unfaithful wife in love with Yavakri. Nagarjuna played Yavakri the priest's jealous rival and Prabhudeva as a demon who kills Yavakri. While Milind Soman plays the younger brother of Jackie Shroff as Aravasu, the female lead opposite Milind is played by Sonali Kulkarni.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | rain | lust | murder | grief | See All (17) »

Taglines:

An epic tale of love and sacrifice

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jackie Shroff shaved his moustache for his role. See more »

User Reviews

 
Sparks Fly in Sajnani's "The Fire and The Rain"
14 September 2002 | by SURJYAKIRANSee all my reviews

The first major Indian motion picture to have been "showered" with praise by the American media (with raves from the New York Times and L.A. Times) is quite worthy of the acclaim it has received.

Adapted from a play, (which was derived from the Hindu epic the Mahabharata) Sajnani's film is for those who can look beyond the action on screen and deduce various ideas and philosophies from the story being told. The film is loaded with symbolism and deeper meaning, and manages to raise quite a few provocative questions about divinity and society.

The other great attraction here, besides the allegorical plot, is the cinematography. The entire film has been set to celluloid by the camera of Anil Mehta (who has previously helmed the lavish Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and the epic, Oscar nominated LAGAAN: Once Upon A Time in India). A famous and attractive historical site in India (the temple ruins of Hampi) is portrayed fantastically in the film by Mehta. His wide-angle panoramic scenes must been seen to be believed.

Other aspects of the film are just about alright. Performances are functional, but Sajnani seems to have been torn as to whether he wanted his characters to be completely melodramatic and stage-like or somewhat restrained. As a result, the actors deliver very confused expressions and dialogs throughout the film. Still, actors Jackie Shroff and Raveena Tandon manage to leave quite an impact in their roles. The show-stealer, however, is screen legend Amitabh Bachan. His 'divine' little role is the one that will linger in the cine-goers mind long after its two hour duration comes to an end. The song-and-dance sequences provide a fine break from the dramatics of the film, but one or two of the songs could have been cut. Background music is pretty well done, but the same cannot be said of the special effects.

Despite the merits of the film, I can't help but feel the film could have managed a much stronger impact if Sajnani had opted for a less linear mode of story telling. Something similar to Tarantino's Pulp Fiction could have worked wonders for the film. As it is now, the film is pretty convoluted and has some continuity and pacing issues. Editing is the film's most glaring shortcoming.

In any case, the film is a worthy effort from India and worth a watch. I would especially recommend it to those who are interested in Hindu theology or philosophy.


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Details

Country:

India

Language:

Hindi

Release Date:

30 August 2002 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Agnivarsha: The Fire and the Rain See more »

Filming Locations:

Hampi, Karnataka, India

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,887, 1 September 2002

Gross USA:

$51,549

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$51,549
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
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