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Ardh Satya (1983)

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Ardh Satya (Eng: Half Truth) is a 1983 Hindi film directed by Govind Nihalani. The film is based on a short story by D.A. Panvalkar and the script is written by Vijay Tendulkar. It has Om Puri, Smita Patil, Amrish Puri, Naseeruddin Shah and Sadashiv Amarpurkar in lead roles.


  • Om Puri ——————————- Anant Welankar
  • Smita Patil —————————- Jyotsna Gokhale
  • Amrish Puri ————————– Anant’s Father
  • Naseeruddin Shah ——————- Mike Lobo
  • Sadashiv Amrapurkar ————– Rama Shetty
  • Shafi Inamdar ———————— Hyder Ali
  • Ila Arun ——————————- Sneha Vajpayee
  • Satish Shah ————————— Dacoit
  • Achyut Potdar ———————– Inspector Patil


Ardh Satya is the story of Anant Welankar, son of a retired constable in Maharashtra Police, who is forced to let go of his dream of pursuing an MBA and join the Police force. Since his childhood, Anant has been under the shadow of his oppressive and sometimes violent father but has been unable to raise a voice against him.

Anant shifts to Mumbai and it is here that he meets a college lecturer Jyotsana and though they have different ideologies, they fall in love with each other. As a Police Inspector, he is an idealist striving to bring a change to the system. This brings him into conflict with the local mafia headed by a local politician Rama Shetty. Very soon he realizes that the tentacles of Rama Shetty go too deep in the system and that even the members of the Police are on his payrolls. His frustration mounts after he is forced to seek the help of a middle man to save himself after his department persecutes him for taking action against some criminals.

Anant is humiliated by Rama Shetty and his own superiors when he tries to arrest Rama Shetty for the attempted murder of one of his accomplice. He is sidelined for police medal and the award goes to someone else. Shattered, he takes to alcohol and his career and relationship go into a nosedive. Once in a fit of rage, he accidentally kills an under-trial in police lockup and is forced to seek the protection of Rama Shetty to save his job and evade arrest. Anant becomes a pawn in the hands of Rama Shetty and has to bear with further humiliations. One day, unable to tolerate anymore, he kills Rama Shetty and surrenders himself to police.


Ardh Satya, the second film made by Govind Nihalani after Aakrosh, is an excellently well-made film. It is brutally honest in the depiction of the trials, tribulations, character and conflicts of its protagonist in the times when everyone has a price and one who is not sold is destroyed. It is a hard-hitting journey of an honest man, a part of which remains back to haunt you long after the credits have rolled.

The film sets its premise very clearly somewhere in the middle by a poem narrated by Jyotsna. The poem goes like “Ek palde mein napunsaktha, dusre palde mein paurush, aur thik taraazu ke kaante par, ardh satya ?”. This is one of the finest moments of the film, giving words to the existential crisis faced by Anant. By the end of the film, he finds himself in a similar situation, lost within his Chakravyuh of deceit, unable to decide which side to choose.

Performance-wise, this film has often been considered a One-Man show by the virtue of the performance of a lifetime by Om Puri. He deserves every bit of the National Award given to him for his acting in this film. He is honest to the character and very convincing in all the shades of Anant. Smita Patil is graceful in her fragile yet strong character. Amrish Puri, Shafi Inamdar, Naseeruddin Shah and Sadashiv Amarpurkar give stellar performances.

Awards and Recognition

  • Filmfare Best Movie Award (1983)
  • Filmfare Best Director Award (1983): Govind Nihalani
  • Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award (1983): Sadashiv Amrapurkar
  • Filmfare Best Screenplay Award (1983): Vijay Tendulkar
  • Filmfare Best Story Award (1983): S.D. Panwalker
  • National Film Award for Best Actor (1984): Om Puri
  • Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (1983): Best Actor: Om Puri


Ardh Satya on YouTube


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