Dhobi Ghat is aptly tagged "Mumbai Diaries". Because, its narratively incoherent. It's about 4 lives intertwined. One is an Artist, one is an investment banker who is on a sabbatical, one is a Dhobi and one is a Muslim housewife. The Artist is mesmerized by the housewife trapped in the tapes he finds in his new apartment. The investment banker is besotted with the artist and the Dhobi falls for the Banker.
Now, the movie is 95 minutes long and has no intervals. But even then, it is lengthy. There is no story as such, and the movie moves at its own pace. The pace has nothing to do with the impact. What the movie lacks is punch. It lacks emotional connect and hence, its dreary. Kiran Rao doesn't delve into the psyche of the characters. There is no explanation, just narration. I am not talking about spoon feeding, but about building the character. Maybe its a deliberate choice, but that totally alienates you from the film. There is no connect.
Prateik Babbar, has done a fine job, though his character is too chiseled and proper for a Dhobi. Thoda attention to detail would have made the difference. He wears the whitest of white T-shirts, a US army locket, knows about the Doors etc etc. Aamir looks strangely out of place. Specially when he is delivering the dialogues in English. His , is the most confused character of all. Grouchy at times, affable the other. A less known actor would have helped. Aamir carries too much baggage. Monica Dogra, as the NRI investment banker, fits her character well and Kriti Malhotra, the housewife in the tapes, is fabulous. She gets really small bits to act and the camera is mostly on her face and she has done an awesome job.
Well, we have seen innumerable films romanticizing about Mumbai and still, it manages to astound you with its beauty. And Tushar Kanti Ray's camerawork, capturing the beauty of Mumbai during the rains is the highlight of the film. Then there's the music which elevates the mood of the scenes and breathes life into the vignettes Rao creates. A decent start by Kiran Rao, but a bit dreary for me. A little more connection with the characters would have helped.
Rating : 6 /10