Dhobi Ghat [2011]

The opening scene, that shows a taxi and Marine Drive through its window, shot by hand held cam, and dialogues in background - this alone makes audience feel that this is going to be a wonderful cinematic experience. Mumbai-has been depicted 'n' times by our film makers. Each film has its own story to tell, very few get it right on. And when it comes to our new breed of directors, its a win-win situation for viewers. Recently we saw fantastic Wake Up Sid that portrayed colors of the city, on the other hand, OUATIM and Striker took us to dark past of the maximum city. Now its Kiran Rao's turn, to show Mumbai through eyes of outsiders-especially-women.

Weaving of four lives is the highlight of the screenplay. Especially, the part of Yasmin Noor [played by Kriti Malhotra - marvelous natural performance]. She has got the best dialogues throughout the movie. The way she describes the city, the lives of people and her own life-simply lovable and intriguing.  [Don't want to spoil for those who haven't seen it] Loved the way her life is shown in the movie. How Arun [Aamir Khan] gets affected by her and how his life gets changed, while two parallels are running simultaneously - Munna [Prateik] and Shai [Monica Dogra], that touches Arun's life too. Not a single character goes unnoticed by the viewer, the smallest part is important [for example-Yasmin's maid and her daughter].

Apart from Kriti Malhotra, the central character Munna [Prateik Babbar] is outstanding. One can not ignore his charm on screen. Playing a dhobi who aspires to become an actor some day-Pratiek shines in his part. Smoothly he portrays the inquisitiveness of a slum dweller. Aamir - [now you know what I will write for him :P] is excellent as always-but I hope he won't do such roles again-i fear he will get typecast-that itself is against his own rules. But yes, the climax gets brilliant because of him. [OMG moment is-the painting]. Monica Dogra as Shai-is perfect for her part.

Whats noteworthy in the film is its direction. Most of the crucial scenes filmed by hand held camera that makes it really interesting. And that too-not as a gimmick but has been done purposefully. Even the still photographs are used brilliantly to show the moods of city. Cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray is one of the heart of the film - so is the scintillating score by Gustavo Santaolalla. Wondering whose idea was-to use classical music [thumris?] as part of many scenes, the score keeps viewer's attention attached to the story and characters.

Its a poetry about the city and the lives of Mumbai. [repeating from WUS review] If you love the city of Mumbai - this one is a must watch.

on a side note - Blogger dost Dolce's review quoted that- "Aamir did announce 2-3 times before screening at Toronto Festival- that 'this is not Ghajini'."
I feel Aamir should have done that here too. I saw many in the audience who came there just because of Aamir & his recent movies. And finding out a movie that is beyond their expectation - leaving the hall telling it 'boring' movie. Sigh...

Tags : Dhobi Ghat movie review, Dhobi Ghat review, Aamir Khan, Monica Dogra, Kriti Malhotra, Prateik Babbar, Kiran Rao


  1. I am so jealous... Want to see this! Now!

  2. Definitely agree about Yasmin's dialogues, and like that you mention her maid and daughter -- the way they are all portrayed is SO real!

    Also glad you mention Wake Up Sid, I think this, even more so than OUATIM, is the film after WUS that captures asli Bombay.

    As for Aamir, yes, hopefully he won't get typecast, and yes, he is the jaan of the climax, as is Prateik at the end, that last bit with him and Shai was great.

    I am still surprised, though, that there is a need to educate on the types of films. One would hope most people can realize that through trailers etc., but on the other hand, no one likes to see others saying boring, so I guess the goal is to continue to educate, right? This is what it is, if you like the idea, come see it.


  3. Lovely review. You mentioned two things that stuck with me as well:
    -that first shot of the taxi and the rain immediately overwhelmed me and pulled me into the story.
    -"Its a poetry about the city and the lives of Mumbai." YES--so much of the film is visual poetry.

    I'm sorry people left the theater when you saw it. As I was walking out, the woman in front of me were getting nostalgic and emotional about her memories of Mumbai.

  4. I thought it got off on an interesting note and prolly a must watch for Mumbai lovers... but I couldn't agree more with Khalid Mohammed's
    "throughout, you’re irritated by implausibilities which don’t quite gel with the intended realistic pitch of this Mumbai bagatelle."
    I know he loves to take a dig at most Bollywood films but I second it... also beyond a point its agonisingly slow and inconclusive...
    It has its moments but not a great experience overall....
    I went in with huge expectations after all the good press it received...
    :( :(
    With due respect to all Amir fans, here's what I thought:

  5. Yes, each little thing has been taken care of, Isnt it thebollywoodfan ? WUS is undoubtadly a gem truly. [is it Marine drive, in both movies, that drives them ahead? :)] Oh, and talking about jaan of climax, how speechless i was by that painting. And a glitch came pretty soon from a guy in audience - 'modern art hai, samajh nahi aayegi' - i shouted on him 'toh bahar nikal jaao' - gosh, such uneducated lot.

    dustdevil liz thanks for the comment and kind words. That first scence was indeed like ignition that proved like driving force. btw, nice audience you had, sigh.

    mansi - have read your view at ur blog, was it 'that' bad for you? :( it wasn't 'horror' yaar, come on, be reasonable.

  6. Oh dear Lime(tte) hope the DVDs will come out soon.

  7. WoW, i watched this movie a liite late. i am speechless. wonderful & brilliant work by kiran rao and all others.what could i say more than this, she handled each scene so perfect and natural. i liked prateik's (is he Babbar's kin?) performance very much, as a new-commer i think he impressed critics.i can say the same words "my muse, my whore, my beloved" cheers to mumbai.

  8. The end of DG stuck in me like a sliver. still trying to dig it out.


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