film review : Dhobi Ghat (2011)

Kiran Rao‘s directorial debut portrays certain sections of Mumbai (or, Bombay) in the same light as it is known to us. To do this she takes the help of four characters. Each of them make a connect and a Mumbaikar (or, Bombayite) will definitely find himself/herself in them. Munna (Prateik), Shai (Monica), Arun (Aamir) and Yasmin (Kriti) are the ones being referred to. Their wants and needs are varied, they longings are different, they have some things but that isn’t what gives them wholesome satisfaction. Don’t we all be there at some point or the other?

Shai happens to meet a painter / loner Arun at his show which gets extended to them spending the night together with love making too added to it. This leads to Shai developing strong feelings for Arun as she did sense a chemistry. However, Arun ain’t the relationship type, lives his life like a nomad and keeps changing the place that is called home. This time he ends up in a house on Mohammed Ali Road where he gets hold of some tapes left behind by the previous tenant Yasmin. Begins watching them and we are seen dissolving in the happenings of the tape along with Arun. Munna is a dhobi whose clients include Arun and Shai, is a  king of his own world and his encounters with Shai lead to the disclosure of his dreams, ambitions while he also gets attracted to her.

The woman behind the camera, Kiran Rao works on the details of the characters along with their mannerisms which make us believe that we ain’t the only ones owning the hollowness. Someone else also understands what we go through. The casting seems in place with no complaints for anyone. Many newcomers/actors have been unveiled in the movie and they stand out on their own merit, thanks to the space provided by the script. The obvious highlight of the movie was supposed to be Gustavo Santaolalla‘s score which hasn’t been thrown in enough to talk about.

kiran rao with the cast

How the four characters are dependent on each other even after being completely independent is what Dhobi Ghat is about. The story ends in an incomplete manner much as our lives which can never be complete in the sense of the word. Dhobi Ghat is sans any interruptions with the script taking it’s own time to breathe. While this is not for the regular bollywood buffs as it has a documentary type approach, you might either end up liking the movie or chances are that you might be put off to sleep. Only you can find that out. Dhobi Ghat is definitely worth a try.

Rating : 3.5/5

The last three films reviewed on the blog –

No One Killed Jessica

Break Ke Baad

Guzaarish

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About Itihas Shetty

Is a verbomaniac. And a human being. And that's where the problem begins. View all posts by Itihas Shetty

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