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Theatrical release poster of the film Astitva
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMahesh Manjrekar
Written byImtiyaz Husain
Mahesh Manjrekar
Screenplay byMahesh Manjrekar
Story byMahesh Manjrekar
Produced byRahul Sughand
Sachin Khedekar
Mohnish Bahl
Ravindra Mankani
Smita Jaykar
Sunil Barve
Namrata Shirodkar
CinematographyVijay Arora
Edited byV. N. Mayekar
Music byRahul Ranade
Sukhwinder Singh
Release date
  • 6 February 2000 (2000-02-06) (India)
Running time
109 Minutes
LanguagesMarathi, Hindi

Astitva (meaning existence, identity) is a 2000 bilingual film made simultaneously in Marathi and Hindi, written and directed by Mahesh Manjrekar. The film tells the story of Aditi Pandit, a happily married woman whose husband Srikant becomes suspicious when she unexpectedly receives a fortune willed to her by her former music teacher, Malhar Kamat. Srikant Pandit tries to figure out why she had received inheritance from Kamat, many years after the music classes had ended, and subsequently makes a discovery.

Astitva won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Marathi in the year 2000.[1] Tabu's performance was highly acclaimed winning her several awards and is considered one of her best.[2][3][4]


Astitva encompasses issues such as male chauvinism, extramarital affairs, and spousal abuse. It is about a woman trying to find an identity outside her marriage.

It is 1997. Malhar Kamat (Mohnish Bahl), an old musician and music teacher, is dying. He prepares his will where he leaves his entire jaydad (estate) — comprising a haveli (mansion), 1.5 acres (6,100 m2) of land, 1,400 grams of gold and approximately 860,000 rupees — to Aditi Shrikant Pandit (Tabu). Upon his death two years later, the will is delivered to Aditi.

When the will reaches Aditi in Pune, she is in the midst of an impromptu party occasioned by the arrival of Dr. Ravi Bapat (Ravindra Mankani) and his wife Meghna (Smita Jaykar). Ravi is a very close friend of Aditi's husband, Shrikant Pandit (Sachin Khedekar). Aditi and Shrikant's only child, Aniket (Sunil Barve) introduces his girlfriend and would-be wife Revati (Namrata Shirodkar) to everyone at the party.

Shrikant opens the certified package that contains the will, even though it is addressed to Aditi, much to Meghna's chagrin and Ravi's surprise. Shrikant is intrigued and refers to his diaries from 25 years ago, in which he has chronicled events from his daily life. He realises that Aditi could not have possibly been pregnant from him at that time, because he was travelling on work. He shows her the diary, confronts her with the facts, and demands an explanation.

In a flashback, Shrikant is an up-and-coming star at a firm, seeking to break out onto his own. His work keeps him traveling almost constantly. This leaves his newlywed wife Aditi lonely and frustrated.

When she asks him to let her work someplace (clearly to relieve her boredom and find a good use for her time), he takes it as an insult and rebuffs her saying no woman in his family has ever worked outside the home and that he earns enough for them to live comfortably. He suggests (although not very enthusiastically) that she take up music. The music teacher is Malhar Kamat. Shrikant continues his unending travels all over the world, although he makes it clear to Malhar that music will not be anything more than a hobby for Aditi.

Aditi's sister Sudha (Resham Tipnis) and her husband come to live with Aditi. Their constant lovemaking further deepens Aditi's feelings of yearning and abandonment. And one spring afternoon, as Malhar breaks into his new ghazal in the rain, Aditi's resolve is broken under the influence of the season. Malhar returns a couple of days later, and Aditi asks him to leave stating she loves only Shrikant. Aditi has missed a period. Sudha learns this and advises her to do something.

When Shrikant returns, Aditi breaks down and tries to tell him the truth about her pregnancy. But Shrikant is doubly elated, having won the first major contract for his own firm and, hearing of his imminent fatherhood, and breaks out into celebrations without letting Aditi complete her story.

As the story comes back to present time, Shrikant punishes Aditi by making her tell the truth in front of Aniket, Ravi and Meghna. Meghna loathes Shrikant, since she suffered spousal abuse from her drunkard husband before divorcing him and marrying Ravi. Aniket is disgusted with his mother after knowing the truth of his existence. Ravi confronts Shrikant, reminding him of his many extramarital affairs. Shrikant refuses to accept it stating he is a man and he did not bring any children, born of those affairs, home.

Shrikant decides that he will live with Aditi, but any spousal relationship between them will not exist. After Revati knows the truth, she breaks the engagement, not because of the truth, but because she realizes that Aniket is no different from the man whom he considered his father till now.

Meghna decides to take Aditi to Goa with her, but Aditi declines. Before leaving the house, she demands her husband and son's presences to hear her. She states how her weakness is called sin, whereas Shrikant's weaknesses are accepted easily. She questions who has the authority to accept his weakness. Aditi also reveals to Shrikant that she has harbored another secret from him that he is impotent and that is why she was not able to bear children with him. And how she could have been made responsible for that too if she didn't have a child. Revati enters the house and gives her new generation views to Aniket stating he is alive as his mother didn't decide otherwise. Aditi walks out of the house with Revati. The movie ends with Revati and Aditi walking out the house and on the road, whilst Shri and Aniket stand in the doorway, watching them go.

The denouement captures the essence of astitva.[5]


The role of lead actress was first offered to Madhuri Dixit, a leading lady of her times. When she rejected the offer, it went to Tabu, who received an important film of her acting career.[6]

The story is based on Guy de Maupassant's novel "Pierre et Jean", which was also made into a movie Una mujer sin amor, a Spanish movie released in 1952.



  1. "Chal Chal Mere Sang Sang" - Sukhwinder Singh
  2. "Gaana Mere Bas Ki Baat Nahin" - Sadhana Sargam, Shankar Mahadevan
  3. "Gaana Mere Bas Ki Baat Nahin v2" - Sadhana Sargam, Shankar Mahadevan
  4. "Kitne Kisse Hain Tere Mere" - Hema Sardesai
  5. "Main Thi Main Hoon" - Kavita Krishnamurthy
  6. "Sabse Pehle Sangeet Bana" - Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sukhwinder Singh
  7. "Spirit Of Astitva" - N/A
  8. "Zindagi Kya Baat Hai" - Sukhwinder Singh


Award[a] Date of ceremony[b] Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Bollywood Movie Awards 28 April 2001 Best Story Mahesh Manjrekar Nominated [7]
Best Actress Tabu Nominated
Best Critics Role - Female Won
Most Sensational Actress Won
Filmfare Awards 17 February 2001 Best Actress Nominated [8]
Critics Award for Best Actress Won
International Indian Film Academy Awards 16 June 2001 Best Actress Nominated [10]
National Film Awards 12 December 2001 Best Feature Film in Marathi Producer: Jhamu Sughand
Director: Mahesh Manjrekar
Won [11]
Screen Awards 20 January 2001 Best Film Astitva Nominated [12]
Best Story Mahesh Manjrekar Won
Best Screenplay Nominated
Special Jury Award[c] Won
Best Dialogue Imtiyaz Husain Nominated
Best Actress Tabu Won
Zee Cine Awards 3 March 2001 Best Actor – Female Won [15]


  1. ^ Awards, festivals and organizations are in alphabetical order.
  2. ^ Date is linked to the article about the awards held that year, wherever possible.
  3. ^ also for Nidaan


  1. ^ "48th National Film Awards".
  2. ^ "Film Review: Astitva". The Hindu. 13 October 2000. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  3. ^ Singh, Shikha (4 November 2016). "Top 5 Performances by Tabu". BookMyShow. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  4. ^ "From 'Maachis' To 'Andhadhun', Here's Why Tabu Is One Of The Most Versatile Actors Of Our Time". Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  5. ^ "".
  6. ^ "Casting chronicle: One's miss is another's hit". India Today. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  7. ^ "The Nominees and Winners for the Bollywood Awards 2001 were". Bollywood Movie Awards. Archived from the original on 7 April 2002. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  8. ^ "46th Filmfare Awards 2001 Nominations". Indian Times. The Times Group. Archived from the original on 10 February 2001. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  9. ^ Dhirad, Sandeep (2006). "Filmfare Nominees and Winners" (PDF). Filmfare. pp. 107–109. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  10. ^ "2nd IIFA Awards 2001 Nominations". MSN. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 26 August 2001. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  11. ^ "48th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 July 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  12. ^ "Nominations for 7th Annual Screen Awards are". Screen. 2001. Archived from the original on 19 February 2004. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  13. ^ Express News Service (21 January 2001). "Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai all the way, bags 8 trophies". The Indian Express. Mumbai, India. Archived from the original on 24 February 2004. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  14. ^ "Screen Award winners for the year 2000 are". Screen India. Indian Express Limited. Archived from the original on 29 October 2003. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  15. ^ "Zee Cine Awards 2001". Zee Cine Awards. 3 March 2001. Zee Entertainment Enterprises.

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