In my review of No One Killed Jessica, I had mentioned that if the movie would have been presented without going a little over the top, it would have ended up as an insightful documentary. Well, that’s exactly what happens to Dhobi Ghat – the movie ends up being a beautiful piece of art which critics as well as the ‘art cinema’ audience would love but the majority of cine goers would be saying ‘nothing great’ after watching it.
The movie is about Mumbai and captures the story of people who’ve come to the city from different walks of life. So we have Arun (Aamir Khan), an artist and a loner who meets Shai (Monica Dogra), an NRI investment banker at his exhibition. They connect with their first conversation and up being spending more time together. Meanwhile, Shai becomes friends with Munna (Prateik), the neighborhood dhobi who is also a wannabe actor. All this while, Arun deep dives into the story of gets lost in the video-taped story of Yasmin (Kriti Malhotra) via video tapes that were left over in the new house that he’s shifted in. Will all four of them be able to find what they are looking for in this moody city of Mumbai?
The highlight of the movie is clearly Prateik Babbar’s performance. One can easily relate with his character and the situations he goes through. Monica Dogra also does well as the NRI banker whose mind & heart fluctuates between Arun and Munna. Aamir Khan, as the intense artist does well as usual.
A special word for the background score by Gustavo Alfredo Santaolalla [of Brokeback Mountain fame] – it is captivating and gels perfectly with the mood of the movie.
Overall, Dhobi Ghat is a decent debut by Kiran Rao but could it have been better? Surely, the movie could have done with some editing since it moves at a snail’s pace at times [even though the runtime is only 95 minutes] as well as some more focus on the thought it was trying to convey.
Final Word, Dhobi Ghat is an arthouse cinema lover’s delight but for the aam junta, don’t expect anything out of the world and chances are, you might find it an average affair!
Rating – 3/5