Dhobi Ghat showcases ‘slices’ from the lives of four characters & three stories of their unrequited/unattainable loves.
Munna (Prateik) is a Dhobi by the day & a rat killer by the night who manages to fit in some ‘gigoloing’ along the way. He is also an aspiring actor. He falls for a friendly investment Banker from New York, Shai (Monica Dogra) who is on a sabbatical to India to do a photoshoot of the Mumbai under-belly. A friendship develops between the two as Shai does a portfolio photoshoot for Munna who in turn gives her a guided tour of dhobi ghat & such places in Mumbai. Shai is a bubbly woman who bonds with people irrespective of their class. There’s an interesting scene in the movie where Shai invites Munna for a cup of tea in her home which Munna accepts awkwardly. Her maid who considers Munna below Shai’s standards, brings a cup (for Shai) & a glass (for Munna) of tea. Shai picks up the glass gives the cup to Munna. Not that it’s a big deal but it is in a way when the world is full of snobs who talk down to people just because they don’t have rank, power or money & they do jobs which are too lowly for the snobs.
Shai is interested in a recluse & whimsical painter Arun (Aamir Khan).
Arun in turn is smitten by Yasmin (played brilliantly by Kriti Malhotra) whom he ‘meets’ only through ‘video diaries/letters’ made by her meant to be sent to her brother in U.P. but are found by Arun who rents the same home as Yasmeen later.
Her story unfolds entirely through her videos only. She come across as simple, sensitive (There’s a scene in which she laments the cutting of goat on bakri id saying it’s the saddest thing to cut up a goat which one has brought up so lovingly) & lively girl. She had a lust for life, a passion for enjoying the life to the fullest. But her fate is tragic. Life has other plans for her & she succumbs to them.
Arun, a self proclaimed recluse who doesn’t want to get intimate with anyone develops an emotional bond with Yasmin. Strange are the ways of love. Yasmin also becomes the muse for his paintings.
Out of the four stories I found Yasmin’s most Intriguing & endearing. Her story is probably the only one that reaches a definite conclusion.
The movie moves in & out of the four lives. The stories are gripping & hold one’s interest for the duration & keep one thinking about them for quite some time. The casting of the movie is perfect n each actor is able to sink into the skin of the character & give a totally natural performance.
Other Movie Reviews on my blog:
- Director gives Mumbai fresh face in film “Dhobi Ghat” (reuters.com)
- Movie Review : ‘Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries)’ (movies.nytimes.com)
- Dhobi Ghat minus interval (thehimalayantimes.com)
- Dhobi Ghat movie review, Watch online trailer video, photos, songs (panasianbiz.com)
- “(Dhobi Ghat) â€˜Mumbai Diariesâ€™ is a love note to Indian city” and related posts (naachgaana.com)
- Indian film paints mesmerizing portrait of Mumbai (reuters.com)
- Indian filmmakers embrace edgy and indie style (thestar.com)