Cast & Crew : Aamir Khan ,Prateik Babbar
Music : Gustavo Santaolalla
Director :Kiran Rao
Producer:Aamir Khan ,Kiran Rao
Story : Kiran Rao
Cinematography :Tushar Kanti Ray
Editing : Nishant Radhakrishnan
Distributed by : Aamir Khan Productions
Released date :21 January 2011.
Theater Watched :PVR Cinema’s Hyderabad.
Rating: 3.75 / 5
Amir Khan New Hindi Film Dhobi Ghat Movie Review:
Every year literally hundreds of thousands throng to the city of dreams, Mumbai. To cover so many dreams in a small span of an-hour-and-a-half calls for some brilliant filmmaking. And watching “Dhobi Ghat” will make you realise that there indeed have been very few debuts as stunning as this one.
Arun (Aamir Khan), an upmarket artist meets Shai (Monica Dogra), an NRI investment banker at his exhibition. A chance encounter that may or may not lead to something more substantial in moody Mumbai….Meanwhile, Shai befriends Munna (Prateik), the friendly neighbourhood dhobi who happens to be a wannabe actor too, while Arun gets lost in the video-taped story of Yasmin (Kriti Malhotra), the enigmatic ex-inmate of the house he currently occupies. Will the foursome find what they are looking for in the strange metropolis that both binds and breaks people?
The film marks the debut of Monica Dogra and Kriti Malhotra, who are exceptional and deliver natural performances. As for Prateik, the ease with which he speaks the slum lingo or converses with his pal or the gentle tone while speaking to the woman he loves [the urbane and classy Shai] proves what a dependable actor he is. The most memorable sequence for me is the concluding one when Prateik chases Shai’s car. There’s no doubt that he’s a complete scene-stealer and a star in the making. His unconventional looks and captivating personality only adds to this performance.
Very much like his performance in TAARE ZAMEEN PAR, Aamir Khan very willingly lets his co-actors eclipse him. Sure, he’s super as a cloistered artist, but this film is not about Aamir Khan, the superstar. It’s primarily about four stories, with Aamir merely enacting one of the four pivotal characters. In fact, he underplays his part magnificently and munificently allows his fellow cast to be conspicuous in their respective parts. In actuality, not many actors in moviedom would dare to even think that way!
Kittu Gidwani is alright. The actor enacting the role of Prateik’s friend does a fine job.
Technical And OtherDepartments:
Cinematographer Tushar Kanti Ray shoots the film as if one were watching the story unspool live in front of one’s own eyes. Academy Award winning Argentine composer Gustavo Santaolalla’s [BROKEBACK MOUTAIN, BABEL] background score is captivating, also non-Indian, yet fits the varied moods, from melancholy to elation, admirably. The sole area where the film fumbles is its pacing at places. The results would’ve been even more impactful if the film was tightened a bit on the editing table.
Dhobi Ghat is a compelling picture of urban angst that has become the hallmark of big city life. The experiences of the four diverse characters may be varied, but they all have a similar theme. It’s a somewhat dysfunctional foursome, desperately seeking an anchor in the shifting sands of a maddening city. Arun openly confesses he is a loner and doesn’t try to hide his discomfort on finding Shai trying to get comfortable in his pad, the morning after. Shai spends her sabbatical trying to connect with Munna, her washerman, despite their different backgrounds, when all she’ll like to do was finish the unfinished business that lingers between her and Arun. Munna, on his part, is tormented by his passion for the uptown woman he can never hope to hook up with. But it is the existential trauma of the newly married Yasmin which strikes you the most, as the woman pours out her loneliness in video letters to her brother Imran….Letters that become the leitmotif of a crumbling city’s soul.
Kiran Rao makes a sensitive debut with Dhobi Ghat, a film that is heavily imbued with mood and soul. She uses her characters smartly to dissect the much talked about spirit of Mumbai without getting maudlin. In fact, the high point of the film is its understated elegance as the lead players slip in and out of the frame, chasing dreams and aspirations. If Aamir Khan enunciates the art of understatement through his delineation of Arun, the women (Monica Dogra and Kriti Malhotra) skillfully juxtapose strength and vulnerability. Prateik’s Munna is endearing, despite being a bit too chic for the average neighbourhood dhobi. But eventually, it is the fifth character that overwhelms you with its colours and mercurial mood swings. And that’s Maximum City, Mumbai. Tushar Kanti Ray’s camera captures Mumbai in all its original hues: black, grey, sunlit, shadowy, chaotic, desolate and surging ahead.
On the whole, DHOBI GHAT is an imposing and vibrant cinematic portrait, appending itself to the new wave of independent Indian cinema which I am extremely pleased to applaud. It is art house cinema with European sensibilities, embellished with a well thought out story that’s devoid of cliches. This ingenious motion picture caters more to the intelligentsia and connoisseurs of world cinema and will therefore garner more patronage and benefaction from the metropolitan audience in India chiefly and global spectators predominantly.