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'Kaash' (1987)

A Bollywood actor-turned-producer faces marital and financial challenges.


Mahesh Bhatt


Mahesh Bhatt (story), Suraj Sanim (dialogue) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jackie Shroff ... Ritesh
Dimple Kapadia ... Pooja
Master Makrand Master Makrand ... Romi
Anupam Kher ... Alok
Mehmood ... Djinn (scene in "Aladdin")
Mukri Mukri ... Fisherman of the dogs
Satish Kaushik ... Jagan (Guest Appearance)
Akash Khurana ... Doctor Anil - Ritesh's friend
Sarita Sethi Sarita Sethi ... Guest Appearance
Avtar Gill ... Production Manager (Guest Appearance)
Raju Kher ... Film Director
Dalip Tahil ... Vijay
Subbiraj Subbiraj ... Director of the school
Kamal Chopra Kamal Chopra ... Judge
R.S. Chopra R.S. Chopra ... Barrister Desai


Ritesh has established himself well as a movie actor and producer within the people of his community. But eventually his career starts fading and this has had a tremendous toll on his marriage life with his wife Pooja leaving him. With no aim left in life Ritesh takes to alcohol and is forced to sell all his possessions to compensate his dues taken as an actor. His only penchant for solute is his young son, Romi - who also won't be there for long as he is diagnose with cancer and does not have long to live. Written by gavin (racktoo@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Family







Release Date:

4 September 1987 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Alas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Yokohama Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was planned as a small budget art film. Mahesh Bhatt had casted Naseeruddin Shah and Soni Razdan. But Naseer had a problem with his price with the producers. They refused to pay him what he was asking. Thats is when Bhatt decided to make it a bigger commericial film and casted Dimple Kapadia in the film. See more »

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User Reviews

"If only..."
25 July 2011 | by Peter_YoungSee all my reviews

Kaash is one of the finest Hindi movies ever made. It is a heartbreaking and deeply moving tale and yet it never loses its optimism, showing there always is a ray of hope in our lives. The power of this extraordinary film comes from the amazing script, the exceptional performances, the lifelike presentation and the subtle narrative style. Mahesh Bhatt's direction is brilliant, and, once again, he proves his merit as a master storyteller through his impressive depiction of complex relationships in an urban India. This is probably his best work. The film's emotional impact is draining and profound mainly due to its striking realism and the fact that despite a delicate subject and the obvious commercial pressure, it is handled with great conviction and sincerity.

This is the story of Ritesh, Pooja and their little son Romi. Once a big star, Ritesh is now a frustrated film actor who, following the failure of his latest production, turns to heavy drinking. Pooja, his supportive wife starts working as a chambermaid to support the family. With Ritesh's bitterness and hurt ego, daily fights are inevitable and a serious crisis in their marital life leads to a separation. After winning Romi's custody in court, doctors inform Ritesh that Romi suffers from a brain tumour and has only counted months to live. Grief-stricken, Ritesh and Pooja reunite in order to make Romi's last few months as happy as possible by fulfilling all his wishes before he leaves. Thrown together under the shadow of their child's impending death, Ritesh and Pooja rediscover themselves and each other.

Just like Bhatt's previous films, Kaash is about marriage, divorce, struggle, coming-of-age, and practically everything life is about. The story is poignant and very easy to relate to, the dialogues are simple, and the characters are devoid of heroic qualities. It's a sad truth that tragedy binds people together. Here we see the most classic and terrifying example of it. Only when they go together through this common pain, struggling with the devastating experience of losing their child, can Ritesh and Pooja understand each other's feelings and inner core. This concept is both amazing and horrifying, and their renewed relationship is totally inspiring.

Jackie Shroff and Dimple Kapadia deliver two towering, bravura performances and rather than act, they simply become. Their chemistry is ineffably credible, and together they ruin, form and rock like never before and never after. The film is written more from Ritesh's perspective, and Shroff is nothing short of phenomenal. This honest, heart-touching performance can make the best actors seem mediocre. Here he plays the struggling filmmaker, the broken alcoholic, the proud husband, the loving and helpless father - and each time you feel he's just sinking more into the role. The moment he is told about his son's state is shivering, to say the least. Ditto for the one when Pooja finds out about the same.

Kapadia has always been one of my favourite actresses. I like her assertive, charismatic nature, her strong screen presence, and her beauty and sex-appeal. It's all evident here, yet different. I feel words would do little justice to this heartbreaking, mind-blowing portrayal, which can be rightly termed as one of the finest in the history of Indian cinema. Her role is even more challenging than Shabana Azmi's role in Arth, and she dominates her scenes with a heartfelt portrait of anguish, strength and maturity. Whether she's a supportive wife, a struggling hard-working woman, or a tormented mother, she disappears into the role with astonishing depth, intensity and authenticity. Her uninhibited emotional outbursts are gut-wrenching and are of the most moving acts I've seen in a Hindi film. In turn, her quiet, non-verbal pain is equally forceful.

Consider, for one, the amazing scene in which Pooja bursts out at her boyfriend, played by Anupam Kher, when the latter is shamelessly discussing a future marriage while she cannot think beyond her dying son, and she breaks down. This disturbingly powerful moment shows Kapadia's acting at its deepest expressive level. Praising the main leads is inevitable, but one must not forget the one around whose character this story revolves. If you liked Jugal Hansraj in Masoom, then watch Master Makrand's performance as Romi, which is one of the best by a child actor. He is smart, cute and sensible and I appreciated the way Bhatt showed his growing awareness of his nearing end. The scene in which he asks his dad to fulfill his last wish is, again, heartrending.

Rajesh Roshan scores with a soundtrack that gives life to the film and enhances its emotional impact. Bhatt visualises the songs exceedingly well. Just see the song "Chhoti Si Baat" when the couple are sitting in the train and looking at their sleeping son, refusing to believe he soon will be no more, and then looking at each other and guiltily realising what they have missed out on. Kishore Kumar beautifully sings one of his last songs for a movie, "O Yaara" which is heartwarming, and yet when seen in the film with the parents trying to encourage their son, tugs at the heartstrings.

The film's last scenes are tough viewing and more than once I found myself teary eyed. The ending is one of the most inspiring I've seen in a film - uneasy and woeful yet optimistic, presenting a certain catharsis which reassures that everything bad is good for something. While writing this comment, I'm concerned I've not managed to convey the greatness of this film well enough. But to put it simply, Kaash is according to me one of the best movies Indian cinema has ever churned out and one of its most underrated classics. It is Mahesh Bhatt's ultimate masterpiece - a rare, perfect picture which will certainly make you look at many things differently and realise the value of those who surround you and of life in general.

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