Arth (film)

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Arth, 1982 film.jpg
DVD cover for Arth
Directed by Mahesh Bhatt
Produced by Kuljit Pal
Written by Mahesh Bhatt
Screenplay by Mahesh Bhatt
Sujit Sen
Story by Mahesh Bhatt
Starring Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Shabana Azmi
Smita Patil
Raj Kiran
Rohini Hattangadi
Narrated by Rita Pal
Music by Chitra Singh
Jagjit Singh
Cinematography Pravin Bhatt
Edited by Keshav Hirani
Release date
  • 1982 (1982) (India)
Running time
138 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 1 crore[1]
Box office 2 crore[2]

Arth (Hindi: अर्थ, English: Meaning) is a 1982 Indian drama film directed by Mahesh Bhatt, starring Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Raj Kiran and Rohini Hattangadi. It features a memorable soundtrack by Ghazal duo, Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh.

The semi-autobiographical film was written by Mahesh Bhatt about his extramarital relationship with Parveen Babi.[3] It is one of the 25 Must See Bollywood Movies as compiled by Indiatimes Movies.[4] The film was remade in Tamil as Marupadiyum (1993) by Balu Mahendra. In 2017, Pakistani actor and director Shaan Shahid released a sequel, Arth 2 and Bhatt acted as a "mentor" during production.


Pooja (Shabana Azmi), who grew up as an orphan girl and always dreamt of owning a house, becomes insecure when she finds out that she and her husband, Inder (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), have to leave the apartment they rent. The twist that occurred when Inder gives her the keys of a new house proves to be double-edged, when it is revealed that he is in love with another woman, Kavita (Smita Patil), with whom he earned the money (in the film industry) for the new apartment. While previously giving advice to her maid (Rohini Hattangadi) cheated by her husband, now Pooja becomes herself involved in a similar situation. When Inder deserts Pooja for Kavita, she chooses to leave the apartment for a women's hostel with only 2000 that she had when she got married. She is helped by Raj (Raj Kiran) to surpass the difficulties of life as a single person, to find a job and to rely morally on herself. Raj and Pooja become good friends. Gradually, Kavita's mental instability deepens her fears of insecurity, even after Inder requests Pooja to sign the divorce papers.

Pooja (Shabana Azmi) confronts Kavita (Smita Patil) (left) at Inder's house (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) (right)

Raj falls in love with Pooja and proposes to her. She refuses saying she is empty and cannot give him anything. Raj tries to persuade her saying that she cannot spend the rest of her life feeling miserable about the past and that she should try to find a new life for herself. Pooja promises to think about it.

Pooja's maid, whose only aim in life is to secure a good education for her daughter, has saved 1000 towards her admission fees. She finds out that her drunk husband has stolen the money. Furious, she searches for him to find him in the arms of his lover after spending all the money. She kills him and goes to the police station and confesses her crime. Worried about her daughter, she calls Pooja who promises to take care of the daughter.

After the insistence of Kavita's mother (Dina Pathak) and her personal doctor (Om Shivpuri), Pooja personally assures Kavita that she is not interested in Inder any more. However, Pooja's attitude only convinces Kavita that breaking Pooja's marriage was a mistake. To escape from her feeling of guilt and insecurity, she breaks-up with Inder. The latter tries to revive his relation with Pooja, but is rejected.

Pooja continues to live with her maid's daughter and refuses to marry Raj saying that she has found a new meaning to life in being independent and being a mother to the child and marrying Raj will only weaken her.



  • Director: Mahesh Bhatt
  • Producer: Kuljit Pal
  • Story: Mahesh Bhatt
  • Screenplay: Mahesh Bhatt, Sujit Sen
  • Narrator: Rita Pal
  • Cinematographer: Pravin Bhatt
  • Art Director: Madhukar Shinde


All music composed by Jagjit Singh, Chitra Singh.

1."Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar"Kaifi AzmiJagjit Singh 
2."Koi Yeh Kaise Bataye"Kaifi AzmiJagjit Singh 
3."Tere Khushboo Mein Base"Rajindar Nath Rehbar[5]Jagjit Singh 
4."Too Nahin To Zindagi Mein"Iftikhar Imam SiddiqiChitra Singh 
5."Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe"Kaifi AzmiJagjit Singh 
Kavita (Smita Patil) and Inder (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) (l-r)


The film was made on a budget of 1 crore and grossed 2 crore at the Box-office and was declared as "Hit" by the Box-office.[6]


Year Nominee/work Award Result
1982 Shabana Azmi National Film Award for Best Actress (Silver Lotus Award) Won
1984 Shabana Azmi Filmfare Award for Best Actress Won
Rohini Hattangadi Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
Mahesh Bhatt Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay Nominated
Smita Patil Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
1983 Madhukar Shinde Bengal Film Journalist Association Award for Best Art Director Won


External links[edit]