Kaash (English: If Only) is an Indian Bollywood domestic drama film directed by Mahesh Bhatt, released on 4 September 1987. The film stars Jackie Shroff and Dimple Kapadia as a married couple, Ritesh and Pooja, who face a serious crisis after bankruptcy and marriage breakdown. The film follows their separation and reunion when their child, Romi, is diagnosed with a brain tumor, and how they learn to cope with this cruel reality.
Like several other 1980s films by Mahesh Bhatt, Kaash, contains serious and realistic content and, upon release, received critical acclaim. Arshad Warsi made his film debut as an assistant director to Bhatt with this film.
Ritesh, a popular film star (Jackie Shroff) and his wife Pooja (Dimple Kapadia) live a wealthy lifestyle with their seven-year-old child Romi. However, after a series of unexpected box office failures and huge losses, he is hounded by creditors and consequently, the couple sell all their personal property and belongings. Frustrated and embittered by his career dive, Ritesh becomes an alcoholic. Pooja, who takes it upon herself to look after the family, works several jobs. This leads to continuous differences between the two, and Romi, their child, becomes a silent spectator to their constant fights and disputes at home.
One day, in a hotel where Pooja works as a chambermaid, she is molested by a hoodlum. A stranger called Alok (Anupam Kher) saves Pooja from him and offers her a job in his firm, much to the annoyance of Ritesh, who would prefer that she stay at home. Ritesh feels it is the last straw for him. He asks Pooja to choose between her job and her family and house. She leaves. Ritesh wins Romi's custody, but soon discovers that Romi is going to die from brain cancer.
To sustain their child's happiness and to overlook his condition, Ritesh and Pooja agree to reunite and spend time together, fulfilling all his wishes before he passes away. Thrown together under the shadow of their child's upcoming death, Ritesh and Pooja, in experiencing the traumatic ordeal, rediscover themselves and each other.Jackie Shroff ... Ritesh
Dimple Kapadia ... Puja
Master Makrand ... Romi
Satish Kaushik ... Jagan (Guest Appearance)
Anupam Kher ... Alok
Mehmood ... Special Appearance
Dilip Tahil ... Vijay
Pradeep Rawat ... Man in hotel
Producer: Anwar Ali, F.K. Rattonsey
Director: Mahesh Bhatt
Story: Mahesh Bhatt
Screenplay: Suraj Sanim
Dialogues: Suraj Sanim
Lyrics: Faruq Qaiser
Music: Rajesh Roshan
Choreography: Saroj Khan
Editing: Waman Bhonsle
Costume Design: Bhanu Athaiya
The soundtrack of the film contains 6 songs. The music is composed by Rajesh Roshan, with lyrics authored by Faruq Qaiser. The film was one of Kishore Kumar's last playback singing appearances, and the last to be released before his death.
The film received positive reviews from critics. The direction, storyline and performances were lavishly praised. Film critic Akshay Shah from Planet Bollywood wrote,
Shah wrote of Jackie Shroff and Dimple Kapadia's performances that, "Jackie as the alcoholic, frustrated and angry husband and father in the first half is perfect and in the second half as the kind and caring father is even better. His performance here is heart rending and it rates alongside Gardish and Parinda as one of his best performances... Dimple Kapadia has always been an actress of substance and she pulls of this role with élan and ease... It is Jackie and Dimple which make this film such a classic."
Mahesh Bhatt's directing was also received positively: "He is a master at emotional scenes as he has proven time and time again and extracts the best performances from his leading stars. Emotion ultimately is what makes Kaash a delight for viewing and a must see film."
In a 2000 article reviewing the last two decades in Hindi cinema, Bhawana Somaaya from The Hindu wrote, "Kaash... consolidates Mahesh Bhatt's position in the industry as a director to reckon with... The film recognises Dimple Kapadia and Jackie Shroff as performing artistes." M.L. Dhawan from The Tribune, while documenting the famous Hindi films of 1987, described the film as "a sensitive and sentimental melodrama", further noting that "Jackie and Dimple gave intense performances that were straight from the heart."