Toronto: Kiran Rao`s `Dhobi Ghat,` which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) here Friday night in the presence of the whole cast at the city`s Elgin Garden Theatres, wowed the audiences with its artistry and fluidity.
The film is Kiran Rao`s directorial debut, with her husband Aamir Khan playing the lead role of a painter (Arun living in Bhendi Bazaar).
Apart the Bollywood couple, Monica Dogra, who plays the role of NRI girl Shai, Prateik Babbar, who plays the role of dhobi boy (Zohaib), and Kriti Malhotra were also on stage.
Set in the Mumbai monsoon season, the plot revolves around Shai`s feelings for Arun and Zohaib in the teeming metropolis.
A beaming Kiran Rao introduced the cast to the audience before the start of the film. She said she was immensely pleased with her directorial debut and expected `Dhobi Ghat` to do well.
Reacting to statements that the film was meant more for the global stage, she said Indian audiences too welcome such
films. It is not the first time that such a film has come out of Mumbai, she said.
Kiran, who also wrote the script, called the story of the film delicate, and said she was pleased with the performance of her cast.
Recalling her most difficult moments during the shooting, she said filming the crowded Eid scene on Mohammed Ali Road during Ramadan last year was one of those tough moments.
She said she had to surround herself with five security guards and Aamir had to hide his face under a helmet to reach
the shooting spot near the illuminated mosque.
For his selection for the lead role, Aamir said initially the couple`s idea was not to cast him because they thought that his presence will "overpower`` others.
But after a few weeks, he said, they had second thoughts. And Kiran put him through usual tests before casting him, he said.
Amid laugher, the Bollywood star said he was so impressed by his wife` script that he fell in love with her all over again after reading it. He said she was very particular about what she wanted from each actor.
"A wonderful film. I cannot believe that Kiran is so talented,`` said Indo-Canadian physician Atul Tolia who came with his whole family to watch the film.
"It is wonderful to see a new idea, a new director, and a whole new cast. It is so fresh. While watching the film, I felt as if I was reading a Gujarati novel. The plot unfolded like literature. I was also impressed by the pace of the film, it flew fluidly,`` Tolia told IANS.
He was also very impressed by Prateik Babbar, son of the late Smita Patil, for his role.
"Prateik is going to be a new star. You are going to hear a lot about this chap in the future,`` said Tolia.