Arth (1982)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 645 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 2 critic

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.



(screenplay), (screenplay)
0Check in
4 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Saaransh (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An old couple lend a room on rent after recent death of the bread earner of the family, their only son. A budding actress starts living with them, who is in love with a local politician's only son. The movie shows what later ensues.

Director: Mahesh Bhatt
Stars: Rohini Hattangadi, Anupam Kher, Soni Razdan
Mirch Masala (1987)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In colonial India, subedars (tax collectors) went from village to village with soldiers, often demanding more than taxes. A subedar commands Sonbai, a beautiful and confident woman whose ... See full summary »

Director: Ketan Mehta
Stars: Ram Gopal Bajaj, Benjamin Gilani, Mohan Gokhale
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A lowly servant, Bhootnath gets close to the wife of his employer, and narrates her story through his eyes and perspective.

Director: Abrar Alvi
Stars: Meena Kumari, Guru Dutt, Rehman
Teesri Kasam (1967)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A naive bullock-cart driver falls for a traveling courtesan.

Director: Basu Bhattacharya
Stars: Raj Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman, Dulari
Mera Saaya (1966)
Drama | Musical | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A lawyer's wife dies in his arms. Yet, another woman - identical in appearance and accused of aiding a gang of bandits - claims to be the lawyer's wife. A courtroom drama ensues.

Director: Raj Khosla
Stars: Sunil Dutt, Sadhana, Jagdish Sethi
Umrao Jaan (1981)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In Faizabad, British India, Daroga Dilawar is sentenced to several years in prison after Amiran's dad testifies against him. After his discharge around 1840, he extracts his vengeance by ... See full summary »

Director: Muzaffar Ali
Stars: Rekha, Farooq Shaikh, Naseeruddin Shah
Aakrosh (1980)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A public prosecutor discovers the harsh realities about life of the scheduled tribes in India during 1980s while defending a case of a tribesman charged of murdering his wife.

Director: Govind Nihalani
Stars: Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil, Amrish Puri
Ardh Satya (1983)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A newly appointed police rookie deals with corruption, romance, and brutality.

Director: Govind Nihalani
Stars: Om Puri, Smita Patil, Amrish Puri
Ankur (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Laxmi lives a poor lifestyle in a small village in India along with her husband, Kishtaya, who is a deaf-mute. Both husband and wife work for the wealthy landlord. The landlord's son, Surya... See full summary »

Director: Shyam Benegal
Stars: Shabana Azmi, Sadhu Meher, Anant Nag
Jagte Raho (1956)
Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In hopes of improving his lifestyle, a poor peasant re-locates to Bombay virtually penniless. It is late at night and he is thirsty, and he is unable to find water anywhere. A singing drunk... See full summary »

Directors: Amit Mitra, Sombhu Mitra
Stars: Pradeep Kumar, Sumitra Devi, Smriti Biswas
Anari (1959)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Raj Kumar is an honest, handsome and intelligent young man to boot. He works as a sole Trader therefore a painter by trade, but unable to earn a living, and unable to pay rent to his ... See full summary »

Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Stars: Raj Kapoor, Nutan, Lalita Pawar
Boot Polish (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Preteen brother and sister, abandoned by their father to care of an abusive prostitute aunt, survive life in an Indian squatters' camp, aided by a friendly cripple, by learning to shine shoes instead of begging.

Director: Prakash Arora
Stars: Kumari Naaz, Rattan Kumar, David Abraham


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  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An amazing masterpiece!
25 August 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Arth is a brilliantly made film. I guess no other director in Bollywood, other than Mahesh Bhatt, had the guts to portray their real life relations on screen. By deciding to portray his relationship with actress Parveen Babi on screen, Bhatt comes up with a timeless masterpiece that rests on the shoulders of two of its able performers: Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil.

Arth is the story of a woman (Shabana Azmi) who is trying to come to terms with her separation from her husband (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) who is having an affair with a schizophrenic actress (Smita Patil). Bhatt intelligently weaves a grand saga of emotions because he is aided by nothing other than his own life's story.

Talking about the performances, this is undoubtedly one of Azmi and Patil's best performances. Azmi leaves no stone unturned in trying to convey the turmoil within her as she is dealing with the separation from her husband. Patil, despite a shorter role compared to Azmi's, leaves a great impact as a depressed, disillusioned actress. She shows why she was one of the best actresses of the 80s. Kharbanda is equally competent as a weak man, torn between two women. Rohini Hattangadi lends ample support as a maid whose life mirrors the life of Azmi's character in the film. Raj Kiran is good too as Azmi's admirer in the film.

The editing is brilliant. Praveen Bhatt's cinematography is outstanding. The memorable soundtrack by the Ghazal duo, the magnificent Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh leaves an everlasting impact on the hearts of the viewers.

Overall, Arth is a must watch!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Arth (1982) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: