Director: Kiran Rao
Cast: Aamir Khan, Monica Dogra, Prateik Babbar, Kriti Malhotra
Some time into the movie, Shai (played by Monica Dogra) tells Arun (Aamir Khan), “I’m not sure of what’s going on in your head right now, and I’m not sure I want to know.” Well, after watching this movie, I am not sure what was going through Kiran Rao’s head while scripting and directing it and I’m content with not knowing as long as she goes on making movies like Dhobi Ghat.
Dhobi Ghat is undoubtedly one of the best movies that Bollywood has had to offer in a very long time and director Kiran Rao has pulled off a stunner in her debut film itself. She has ventured into uncharted territory and making an out-of-the-box, unconventional, non-linear movie, which is certainly a rarity in the Hindi film industry.
The movie revolves around Mumbai- the city which helps some to realize their dreams and shatters them for the rest. The story is taken from four different perspectives. Yasmin (Kriti Malhotra) is a newly married girl who has just arrived in Mumbai after her marriage and is in complete awe of the city. Arun is a self proclaimed loner and an artist who lets his brush do most of his talking. Munna (Prateik Babbar) is a dhobi by day and a rat-killer by night. Shai is an investment banker from America who is on a sabbatical and is practising her photography skills. Though all four apparently have no connection whatsoever, the story subtly interweaves all the plots into one as it progresses.
The actors have all delivered the performances of their lifetime! The feelings that they evoke into the audience actually makes one empathise with them at every step of their journey. While Monica has proved that she is more than just a singer, Prateik has done a fantastic job as Munna, and Kriti’s innocence as Yasmin is very commendable. Aamir, though, could have done better, though one has to remember, he has delivered a good performance, despite the burden of expectation which is constantly riding on his shoulders.
The music for the movie has been composed by the Argentinian, Gustavo Santalaolla, who has previously scored the music for movies such as Babel, Brokeback Mountain and The Motorcycle Diaries. The music is primarily slow,soulful and adds to the melancholy already present in the film.
A lot of amazing black and white still photographs by Jyotika Jain have also been used to emphasize on the various aspects of life in Mumbai. But what truly makes this movie stand out from all other good movies, and makes it quite exceptional, is the acting of the supporting cast. Each and every one of them have given a performance which remains etched onto the audience’s mind for a long time.
Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) premiered at The Toronto International Film festival, 2010, where the film was given a standing ovation.
Watch it, if you want to appreciate an excellent piece of art. This one is not worth missing out on.