All Talk and No Action Saturday, January 2, 2010

I had been wanting to watch Arth ever since I learnt what 'the other woman' meant. This story of "the other woman" has garnered enough attention and debate in the past two decades.

Arth deals with a much married couple, happy with life and it's everyday chores, until, the husband professes his love for another woman. All his assurances of always "being there" for his wife as a friend, are insufficient to bring back her broken spirit.

How the wife then finds arth in her being and whether a man/woman can find solace without being bound in the comforts of a relationship is what the movie is about.

I wouldn't do a post mortem of the story since I hate to give in too many details while reviewing a movie.

But, I must mention that Shabana Azmi has never looked as beautiful as she has in Arth.

Apart from a fine performance, the lady looks dazzling, even sans make up !

Smita Patil, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Raj Kiran do justice to their limited and sometimes, half baked roles.

Jagjit and Chitra Singh do a wonderful job with the three songs that they are allowed.

My only grouse with the story is that "the other woman" is shown to be mentally ill and insecure. This is so, maybe, to arouse sympathy in the viewer and allow her a reason for this woman's actions.

Frankly, had I made Arth, I would have shown this woman to be normal and happy, just like the rest of us. Why do we want to think that anybody who wrecks someone elses marriage ought to feel compunction ? Haven't we met people, who live life on their own terms, however way ward it may seem to us ?

But, maybe the moral fabric of the early eighties did not allow this privilege to Bhatt.

Some ageless questions that Arth raises -

  • Would and should you continue with a love-less marriage, only because you are burdened with an emotionally dependant partner ?
  • Will and can there be an end to the roving eye of a partner ? Can an erring husband/wife really remain fidel and be in love forever with a single person ? Can you be sure that they won't leave the second partner for a third, more exciting one ?
  • If the tables are turned, will the erring partner, be magnanimous enough to forgive and forget and re-build a relationship ?
  • Is it necessary to be in a relationship at all to complete oneself ?
I am amazed that Mahesh Bhatt has given Bollywood some of its best written and performance centric movies - Saransh, Daddy and Arth clearly show how mature this man could be.

God only knows what went wrong with his brain later on.


siddhya said...

*should you? never! will you? oh ya
*no. maybe, maybe not. never.
*can't comment
*absolutely not!

i think marriage (even when considered as a by-product of love) is essentially a contract. so moral issues should be taken with a pitch of salt :P
my thoughts here:

allthecrap said...

Long back i wrote a post on bollywood, and there I mentioned the fact that I wanna see this movie.

Not seen yet :(

Cant comment on moral issues of love marriage and stuff..I have no idea :)

Btw no doubt about the fact that mahesh bhatt is one of the most talented director bollywood had...
some more movies to teh list..zakhm..hum hai rahi pyar ke...dil hai ke manta nahi..aashiqi and few more

All Talk and No Action said...

@Siddhya - Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I did read your post. Quite a lot of thought you have put to it ! About marriages, I do feel that it is not wrong to expect fidelity, specially when one gives all. But again, to each his own.

@allthecrap - Do watch Arth. A nice comment on relationships.
About Bhatt - I would say, most of his movies are rip offs. So however good they may be, I am always troubled about it not being an original, specially, given that the man has a brain to come up with original stories.
Zakhm and Dil Hai Ki maanta nahi are my faves too, though, Dil hai again a shameful rip off :(