‘Dhobi Ghat’ is a metaphor for Mumbai city, says Kiran Rao

Last Updated: Jan 05, 2011, 18:55 PM IST

Spicezee Bureau

Mumbai: With ‘Dhobi Ghat’, Aamir’s Khan’s better half Kiran Rao is ready with one of the most anticipated films of 2011. Supported by Aamir Khan Productions, ‘Dhobi Ghat’ is the story of four characters, hailing from various socio-cultural milieus in Mumbai city.

Recently, while talking to a daily about her offbeat film, Kiran said, “To be honest I had never even been to Dhobi Ghat before I went to see the location for the film’s research. I wrote the title even before I started writing the film because the dhobi (washer-man) seems to be a great character to use to explore parts of the city.”

The central character of ‘Dhobi Ghat’ is called Munna, a washer-man, played by late Smita Patil’s son Prateik Babbar. Rao praised young Prateik as, “I liked the changeable identity that his character afforded me. He is from a poor background and has come to the city to make a living. He has dreams of becoming an actor. But here he is, washing people’s clothes… he sometimes wears the occasional client’s shirt out to the movies. This is his life.”

Interestingly, it’s Prateik’s character, which holds together the entire plot of the film. “The dhobi’s character helps me show you can come to Mumbai to forge a new identity. You can leave your past, your caste and poverty behind and look to making a new future. I felt that the ‘Dhobi Ghat’ is a metaphor for the city, where all kinds of people come and create this energy that makes the city the place it is. It is the meeting of all kinds of people and communities that makes it an exciting place. The film really helped me discover Mumbai, in a sense.”

“The Ghat is the levelling ground. This is where the city rubs off your edges and makes you part of this giant flow of energy. All kinds of filthiness come here to be evened out and sent back anew,” added the maverick director.