ReviewWriter: JanakWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Dil Chahta Hai”, “Life in a Metro” & “Mumbai Matinee”
In recent years, Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan has delivered some powerful pack films such as "Taare Zameen Par" (2007), "Ghajini" (2008) and "3 Idiots" (2009) and with this track record, fans expectation would be super high with the arrival of "Dhobi Ghat". The film gets its name from Mumbai's actual place named Dhobi Ghat, a hustling and bustling landmark and the city's laundry district, where everyday before sunrise the work of cleaning, washing, drying of clothes brought from all over the city starts and is carried on until the sun sets.
It is important know that this is not an Aamir Khan film but Kiran Rao's (who also happens to be Aamir's wife in real life) first frame to last. Interestingly, instead of opting for the usual candy floss entertainer, she chooses to make a film that is as real as it can get. Every sequence of the film tells a story with much emotions, dreams and aspirations. Filmed in guerrilla style, with hand-held cameras and moving shots, "Dhobi Ghat" captures the real flavour of this populous city. From high classy apartments to the slums, the film is an authentic piece of work. With her intensely intelligent script, skilful direction and detailed screenplay, Rao gives the characters a genuine feel, look and sound.
"Dhobi Ghat" (also known as "Mumbai Diaries") tells the story of four people from very different backgrounds, whose worlds intersect and leave them forever altered. As they find themselves drawn into compelling relationships, the city finds its way into the crevices of their lives, separating them even as it brings them closer. Shai (Monica Dogra), plays an Indian-American banker who is in the city for a photographic expedition, Munna (Prateik Babbar) is a washer boy who dreams to be a star, (Kriti Malhotra) plays a homely Muslim girl named Yasmin, while Aamir Khan who is also producing the film, plays Arun - a reserved modern art painter. Mumbai is definitely the fifth character in the film, an immovable witness to the harmony and turmoil in which the characters function simultaneously.
The film marks the debut of Monica Dogra and Kriti Malhotra, who are exceptional and deliver natural performances. Prateik Babbar is very ease with his acting, a stole standout in the film and to justify this, the memorable sequence would be when he chases Shai's car. There is no doubt that he is a complete scene-stealer and a young star in the making. Very much like his performance in "Taare Zameen Par", this film is not about Aamir Khan, the lead actor. As a matter of fact, he underplays his part magnificently that allows his fellow cast to be more visible in their respective parts.
Cinematographer (Tushar Kanti Ray) shoots the film as if one were watching the story live in front of one's very own eyes. If one would have visited Mumbai before, one would recall the locations of skyscrapers under construction at Mohammed Ali markets, sea facing bungalows at Worli, the actual Dhobi Ghat at Mahalaxmi, Chowpatty market and Marine Drive. Academy Award-winning Argentine composer Gustavo Santaolalla's ("Brokeback Moutain, Babel") background score is captivating as its non-Indian notes fit the varied moods of this drama.
Like how Aamir Khan's character says it in one of his lines in the movie, "To Mumbai - my muse, my whore, my beloved", the statement sums up the entire film as whole. Soaked in the Mumbai monsoon, the film is a rain-drenched salute by director Kiran Rao to the spirit of Mumbai. It is a sensitive, subdued and gentle film that takes a good step and makes a good move for Indian cinema.Cinema Online, 24 January 2011