If ever you wanted to make synonyms of Arth movie, then the above words should suffuse. So much so that I still have to remind myself Khulbhushan Kharbanda was there too.
A story about betrayal is not just what Arth is. After Inder(Kharbanda) leaves Pooja (Shabana) for Kavita (Smitha), the story, according to me, starts then. Prisoned in loneliness and penalised with the struggle to survive, Pooja is like a hungry,desolate little girl. After having her home snatched away from her, one which she furnished like a mother dresses up her toddler, the acceptance of life in paying guest is not easy for her. Her independance, grit and dissent blossoms.
It's not that she was pampered in a rich luxurious home, its the confusion of this sad,new reality that is heart-touching.
It's brave to have a character portray an emotion which is much less obvious than what the viewer assumes - in this case, Pooja should have been angry or heart broken about betrayal,but she is more confused and disillusioned about her new environment, heart broken about a lack of a house of her own, always having been an orphan.
Kavita has totally different tangents on which she flies. She is wanton, innocent and dominating all at the same time. She rules her lover both with her physical want and her loneliness. Smitha could have let Kavitha be just a bed-magic but being such a deep actor she didn't leave it at that. Her role is strentghened by emotional, childlike qualities too. A role with intensity and Smitha played it well.
Raj Kiran is winsome as the happy friend of Pooja and even more when she politely declines his love for her. No walking sadly with a jhola and singing songs of unattainable love. No speech on sacrifice either. This dude is happy enough to understand her need for freedom and respects her decision.
Arth is a seesaw of remarkable acting between Azmi and Patil.