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.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Parvati Pradhan (as Rohini Hattangady)
B.V. Pradhan
Soni Razdan ...
Sujata Suman
Madan Jain ...
Vilas Chitre
Suhas Bhalekar ...
Pandit / Astrologer
Akash Khurana ...
Chief Minister Shashikant (as Aakash Khurana)
Vijay Kashyap ...
Dr. Bhatt
Kishore Jariwala
Police Inspector
Gajanan Chitre's Goon (with acid)
Arun Bakshi ...
Gajanan Chitre's Goon
Sankalp Dubey
Rajesh Kumar
Hyder Ali


Devastated to learn that their only child, a son, has been killed by muggers in New York City, former Headmaster B.B. Pradhan and his wife, Parvati, grieve. With their son dead, there is no income coming in, so they rent out a room, in their Shivaji Park (Bombay) apartment to a budding Bollywood actress, Sujata Suman, who has been having an illicit affair with the only son (Vilas) of a politician named Gajanan Chitre. Vilas lacks the guts to tell his father that he is in love and would like to marry Sujata, and hence puts off any marriage plans. They do get intimate and as a result Sujata gets pregnant. When Pradhan finds out, he offers to take Sujata to meet Gajanan with the hope that he will permit her to become his daughter-in-law. But Gajanan not only refuses, he also threatens them, he warns them of dire consequences if Sujata does not abort the child, and moves away to another town. Pradhan refuses to let Sujata out of his house, and then begins the stalking and harassment by ... Written by rAjOo (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

25 May 1984 (India)  »

Also Known As:

The Gist  »

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Did You Know?


Anupam Kher won Filmfare best actor award,Mahesh Bhatt for story and Madhukar Shinde for Art direction. See more »


B.V. Pradhan: Parvati, the lines on your face symbolize the gist of my life!
See more »


References Mother India (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

Incredibly depressing though quite good.
29 October 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I thought "Saaransh" was a terrific movie, but as I watched it I also worried about other viewers. After all, it's one of the more depressing films I've ever seen and if you are already seriously depressed, it could push you over the edge! So, if you want a feel-good movie, keep looking! However, if you don't mind that the film is numbingly depressing at times, then you should definitely give it a look.

A word also about this film and other Indian films from this era. While the Bollywood formula today is very well established today, this is not what you'll necessarily see in older Indian movies. Giant choreographed song and dance numbers aren't in this one and the musical interludes (there are a couple) sound very canned. I've seen this before in films from the 70s and 80s and don't mind it--just don't expect a romance or the same vibe you get from more recent films.

The film begins with Professor Pradhan having trouble sleeping yet again. This is because his son was murdered three months earlier and he still is struggling with the depression. His wife, on the other hand, is more optimistic and buries herself in religion. But, as he is an atheist, he feels alone and miserable. Eventually he sees the only way out is suicide.

Fortunately, something snaps him out of his depression. The couple recently took in a border and now he sees the woman need their help. It seems that she's pregnant and her fiancée is a weak man with a horribly evil father. In fact, the father is prepared to do ANYTHING to stop the baby from being born--and because he's a government official, he seems ready, willing AND able. Poor Mr. and Mrs. Pradhan don't stand a chance against him and his power--yet, inexplicably, they stand firm--defying the powers that be.

As far as the ending goes, I won't go into it here--it would spoil the film. Just be prepared--it IS depressing. So, this combined with the son's death, the father's suicide attempts and the violence that the politician unleashes upon them, it is a lot to take in one film. But, it also provided a wonderful opportunity to see a truly remarkable performance. Anupam Kher played the professor and appeared to be about 70 years old more or less. However, he was only 29 at the time!! You can't tell he's wearing makeup and coloring his hair--and he ACTS like a depressed elderly man. In fact, he is the reason to watch the film--a really special performance that you need to see to appreciate. It's also interesting to see just how cynical an Indian film can be about government corruption--a theme I've actually seen in quite a few Indian films.

By the way, although I strongly recommend the film, I should point out that the captions were terrible. They were significantly delayed and occasionally sentences weren't even captioned. It's a real shame.

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