Mahesh Bhatt’s directorial Arth, which came out in 1982, presented the stark reality of complex relationships and forged friendships. The film won critical acclaim and the lead actor Shabana Azmi took home the National Award for Best Actor (Female). Mahesh Bhatt once said about the film that he made “impact on the conscious of the nation” with Arth.
The impactful work of Bhatt prompted Pakistani filmmaker Shaan Shahid to remake the film for the cinephiles of Pakistan. He also plays the lead in the movie which has been released in Pakistan now. Talking about his motivation for the remake of Arth, the actor-filmmaker told the publication Eastern eye, “The collaboration [with an Indian crew] was important. I think we in Pakistan can do for India what China is doing for America. The cost of making a film in India is now so high that I think within five years, they won’t be able to afford to make A-grade films there anymore. They will have to find places where they can go and make films. I hope this adaptation of an Indian classic starts something special between the two countries. So I guess that was the biggest motivating factor that drew me to the film.”
See poster of Arth 2 here:
The actor-director-writer Shaan Shahid also talked about his film Arth: The Destination being a bridge between India and Pakistan and said, “It would have been very easy for me to name the film something else, but I didn’t and opted for the original because I wanted the Indian audiences to know that there are people out there who want to get connected to them through films. I think this is a bridge we need to develop as humans, without any political powers being involved in it.”
Bhatt appreciated Shaan Shahid’s efforts earlier in the year as he tweeted, “A stunning looking film shot with passion.Thank u @mshaanshahid for bringing the film that hurled me into history to a whole new audience.” Also, in an earlier interview with Pakistani publication Dawn, the Indian filmmaker said that he has no issues with the film being remade. “In no way do I feel that it will taint my work, on the contrary, I take the fact that he (Shaan Shahid) thinks my film is worthy of a remake as a sign of respect.”
A stunning looking film shot with passion.Thank u @mshaanshahid for bringing the film that hurled me into history to a whole new audience. 🙏
— Mahesh Bhatt (@MaheshNBhatt) October 20, 2017
Expressing his excitement on his classic being remade, Bhatt told Dawn. “Shaan sahib is remaking a film that I started my career with, and that makes me very happy. I am very keen to see how he will interpret it. Every filmmaker has his own worldview, and he has complete freedom to reinterpret it however he wishes.”