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Dhobi Ghaat: Worth a Watch???
Jan 31, 2011 01:36 AM 2397 Views





Kiran Rao’s debut as a director in Dhobi Ghaat is a good attempt at art cinema. The ouvre was well established in the 1980s by film makers like Benegal, Karnad, Nihalani and Sai Paranjape.

Dhobi Ghaat is made in a diary format. It shows the lives of four individuals Arun(Aamir), a divorced painter who lives a bohemian life and sets his own rules. Zoheb alias Munna(Prateik), a Dhobi cum part time mouse killer, Shai(Monica Dogra), an investment banker who is on a sabbatical and an amateur photographer and Yasmin Noor(Kriti Malhotra), a newly wed who comes to Mumbai post her wedding from a small town of Eastern UP. The film moves at a languid pace showcasing the common man’s Mumbai and experiences of normal people. Kiran speaks the idiom of a normal person and how they would react to those situations. She is able to extract laudable performances from all the four leads. And to her credit, she gives equal footage to all the four instead of just concentrating on Aamir.

The camera work is good, it captures the markets on Id, the mumbai monsoons and the the chawls brilliantly. Shai has a one night stand with Arun and then they drift apart without actually being apart in the real sense. Shai follows Arun and photographs him. Munna likes Shai and folllows her around as an unofficial guide. He likes Sallu and wants to be an actor. Arun chances upon the three video letters of Yasmin and she becomes an inspiration for his next series of paintings. The tapestry is well woven. Some lovely background music. Only thing missing, a hook. What did Kiran want to convey? the viewer is left guessing. The movie is not for the common man. You would waste money if you go with high expectations of entertainment. Go to watch only if you like reading AynRand, Dostoevosky and not if you like Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler. It is fine dining, not street food. **1/2

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Dhobi Ghat