The metropolis of Mumbai is a city of dreams, a known fact to all- a million dreams thriving and a million about to be seen. But the complexities of this Indian city are far beyond description. Debutant filmmaker Kiran Rao has succeeded in portraying those untold yet evident stories that are an integral part of the city. ‘Dhobi Ghat’ is indeed an intelligently woven piece of art.
Aamir Khan plays Arun, an upmarket artist who has a chance encounter with Shai, played by debutant Monica Dogra. Shai is a NRI investment banker who meets up with Arun at one of his exhibitions and the two enter a strange relationship after their one-night stand. Prateik, portrays the character of Munna, who is a dhobi, and an aspiring actor. He befriends Shai and the duo end up becoming good friends.
Another debutant, Kirti Malhotra plays Yasmin, a loner who has suffered a failed marriage. The story revolves round the complicated lives of the four protagonists who earnestly keep looking for what they are badly in need of.
Amidst the ocean of humanity in a city that is known for its cosmopolitanism, the four actors portray characters that are nothing but real. Their individual stories have been etched with great care against the backdrop of the madly crowded city. Munna meets his ends by working as a washer man, who has a strange equation with Shai, despite diverse financial backgrounds. Shai is busy with her claustrophobic love life while Arun is lost in his own world of the canvas. And Yasmin tries to engage herself in all sorts of domestic activities only to supersede her agony over her broken marriage. The four protagonists in the film are souls wandering aimlessly in search of their needs.
The striking yet most traumatic story is that of Yasmin, who sends video letters addressed to her brother Imran telling him about her loneliness. Arun discovers those video tapes of Yasmin, who happens to be an ex-tenant of the house where he is put up. He falls in love with her sensuousness and finds in her his muse.
Kudos to Kiran Rao for handling such a sensitive subject with great conviction and passion. The characters in the film have been wisely used and each of them has justified their bit. The story is dumbfounding as it is about a man’s constant race towards his dreams. The actors are excellent, the story prim and proper and the cinematography is speechless.
In a nutshell ‘Dhobi Ghat’ is poetry.
Ratings: Four cheers for this one.