Monday, 24 January 2011
Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) 
Kiran Rao had been known till now as the wife of the popular Hindi movie actor, Amir Khan; henceforth, thanks to her assured directorial debut film Dhobi Ghat, she has carved a recognition for herself, albeit among those of you who, like me, enjoy niche, intelligent, sensible and middle-of-the-line cinema. The film is about four individuals, and residents of the mega-metropolis of Mumbai, who, as coincidence would have it, end up sharing a link to each other’s lives – a chain-smoking painter who prefers living a lonely existence (Amir Khan, in a fine role completely stripped of his ‘star’ persona), a US-resident investment banker who has taken a sabbatical from her job in order to pursue her passion of photojournalism, a poor ‘dhobi’ (laundry man) who dreams of becoming an actor someday, and a young lady who has recently moved in to Mumbai with her newly wedded husband. What I found most striking about the film was, apart from the honesty of the nicely penned down script, was the way simple, unspectacular moments of a few regular people have been affectionately captured. And these moments have been wonderfully woven together to provide a collage of these disparate individuals, with the city acting as a silent but omnipresent observer. The film has been exquisitely shot, providing a tapestry that is as rich as it is affecting.
Director: Kiran Rao
Genre: Drama/Urban Drama/Ensemble Film