In 16th century India, two virgins - Princess Tara (Choudhury) and servant girl Maya (Varma) - play at being friends. They're destined to grow apart, but sex, as taught by the Kama Sutra, soon has them inextricably entwined. Tara and Maya appear equally spoilt and pouty; meanwhile, the objects of their affection, lecherous Raj Singh (Andrews) and brooding sculptor Jai (Tikaram), defy belief. Raj is the sort of man who flares his nostrils when aroused, while Jai is prone to such insights as, 'My work has a power even I can't explain.' The film is visually delicious (peacock colours nestling in a dusty postcard haze), but that it comes from Mira Nair, director of the heart-pummelling Salaam Bombay!, is dispiriting. If there's an underlying message, it's conservative. Even before her lessons in the art of love, Maya is instinctively more sensuous than Tara - low class babes, you see, have natural rhythm. And what's behind the deluge of sex tips? Be imaginative in bed, girls, or the man in your life will stray. Ye gods! It's like being stuck in a lift with Jane Seymour: slave-girl chic turned nauseatingly fragrant.