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MouthShut Score

66%
2.96 

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Dhobi Ghat
Feb 03, 2011 03:47 AM 3672 Views
(Updated Feb 03, 2011 03:51 AM)

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Movies have always gratified the basic human curiosity to peek into the lives of other people; they are vehicles of visual pleasure, albeit in a voyeuristic way. The characters in Dhobi Ghat cater to the same standards of voyeurism to which we ourselves as viewers subscribe.


The NRI girl wants a ringside view of the 'real India' and the dhobi is her tool to connect to that space. This is not an outright exploitative relationship but just the way things work out in our class based society. Westerners might like to fancy themselves as classless and liberal but boundaries are drawn at a subconscious level - so while hanging out with the Dhobi is a cool thing to do, a relationship still remains out of bounds. The reclusive painter peeks into the life of a Mumbai housewife, her private letters. He euphemistically calls her a muse for his art. He stumbles into her joys and also her unbearable sorrow.


All the threads in the movie crisscross and are tied together by strong visuals and visual media (photographs, video tapes, paintings).All the actors have done justice to their roles, though I would have preferred to see a lesser known face in Aamir’s place. In the end each of the characters is scarred by their experiences. They are angst ridden- for it is impossible to be a passive observer. Only the Maximum City can afford the luxury of watching unscathed from a distance and then moving on, or perhaps even the city is transformed a wee bit every day by  the joy, banality, sorrow and surge of life that it witnesses. Kiran Rao in her first movie is refreshing and bold. Subtlety has never been a trait of Indian Cinema but perhaps it is time to hail the new order now.


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