Arth (1982)

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A film-maker who is having an extra-marital affair with an actress decides to leave his wife. Arth is the story of this women's search for her identity.



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Credited cast:
Inder Malhotra
Kavita Sanyal
Raj Kiran ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rohini Hattangadi ...
Pooja's Maid
Siddharth Kak ...
Mazhar Khan ...
Dina Pathak ...
Kavita's Mother
Purnima ...
Hostel Principal
Shammi ...
Mrs. Bhalla
Om Shivpuri ...
Dr. Puri
Gita Siddharth ...
Dalip Tahil ...
Chand Usmani ...
School Adminstrator


A film-maker who is having an extra-marital affair with an actress decides to leave his wife. Arth is the story of this women's search for her identity.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance






Release Date:

3 December 1982 (India)  »

Also Known As:

The Meaning  »

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Did You Know?


This Film is based on the relationship between Mahesh Bhatt and Parveen Babi See more »


References Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981) See more »


Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho...
Sung by Jagjit Singh
Composed by Jagjit Singh
Lyrics by Kaifi Azmi
See more »

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User Reviews

Life After Divorce
27 July 2008 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

Mahesh Bhatt's 'Arth' is said to be loosely based on his own marriage. The main story is of a woman coming to terms with life after separation from her husband (who was having an affair with an actress). The theme is quite simple and so is the execution but Bhatt gives it a raw but realistic and authentic look. While many have complained that 'Arth' is slow moving, the pace wasn't problematic for me. It's not a slick fast paced movie but I liked that Bhatt takes his time to let the events unfold as the characters are faced with decisions to make. It is very much a character driven piece and the film gives us the time to study these intriguing people. Moreover, Jagjit Singh's ghazals beautifully reflect the inner feelings of the characters.

Bhatt tells the story very convincingly and he has put a lot of heart into it. I liked that he didn't turned Inder Malhotra (the character who's based on himself) into a good guy towards the end and that perhaps his portrayal of his story is honest. But, whether real or not, that doesn't matter because the story in 'Arth' works very well regardless. It is clearly one of his best films.

Shabana Azmi gives a tour-de-force performance as the heartbroken Pooja. It is her film all the way and Azmi displays Pooja's growth with élan. It's one of the strongest portrayals by an actress. Smita Patil is equally fabulous in a smaller role as Kavita, the tormented actress. I always love watching these two actresses share the screen and here too their shared scenes are among highlights of the film. Kulbushan Kharbanda holds his own in a woman-oriented film. The rest of the cast that include Raj Kiran and Mazhar Khan offer adequate support.

'Arth' is a rare gem of the 80s which was known to be the worst decade of Indian cinema.

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