Movie Review: Dhobi Ghat (2011)

Users Rating: [ratings] ★★★½☆
Box Office: Below Avg.

Irrespective of its genre, an Aamir Khan production is looked forward to with super-enthusiasm. Films like LAGAAN, TAARE ZAMEEN PAR, JAANE TU YA JAANE NA and PEEPLI [LIVE] have redefined cinema and in their own small way prompted film-makers to think beyond the stereotype. That automatically raises the bar for AKP’s new endeavor DHOBI GHAT.

Mumbai – this vivacious, lively and spirited city has inspired many a film-maker, novelist, writer, playwright, poet in the past. Kiran Rao’s DHOBI GHAT takes a look at four different characters in this dynamic city. Interestingly, instead of opting for the usual candy floss entertainer in her directorial debut, Kiran chooses to make a film that’s very real and also that comes across as personal memoirs that have found a place on celluloid. It’s more of a video diary on the inhabitants of this bustling metropolis. More importantly, this is a story about four different people – all from diverse walks of life – and how their lives crisscross in this voyage and how they cope with yearning, solitude, affection, friendship and loss.

DHOBI GHAT [Mumbai Diaries] is the story of four people from very different backgrounds, whose worlds intersect and leave them forever altered. As they find themselves drawn into compelling relationships, the city finds its way into the crevices of their lives, separating them even as it brings them closer…

Fragments of their experience — seen through a naive video diary, black and white photographic images and painting — form a portrait of Mumbai and its people bound together as they journey through longing, loneliness, loss and love.


Good Reviews  |  Average Reviews  |  Bad Reviews
Positive Reviews
4.5 “Dhobi Ghat – a stunning debut”
4.0 “On the whole, DHOBI GHAT is an imposing and vibrant cinematic portrait, appending itself to the new wave of independent Indian cinema”
4.0 “Watch Dhobi Ghat for its characters, and their stories”
DNA India
4.0 “Rao’s film is like fresh air, as elusive in Mumbai’s leaky chawls as in its smoky drawing rooms.”
4.0 “Watch it if you happen to love cinema and think that there’s more to it than entertainment, thrills, vanity, and ha-ha-he-he.”
3.5 “A lyrical ode to the modern malady — metro-eccentricity — Dhobi Ghat is intelligent and artistic cinema.”
3.5 “Script finally wins over the great Indian extortionist cinema snack counter.”
3.5 “Unusual, but definitely worth watching, it is mature, open-minded and thought-provoking.”
3.5 “This stirring drama of hungry connection is recommended for true lovers of cinema.”
3.5 “Immersing, throbbing and full of life.”
3.0 “Prateik wows in Dhobi Ghat.”
3.0 “Dhobi Ghat comes together nicely. It has a poetry and melancholy that stays with you”
NDTV Movies
3.0 “The story is capturing but little slow sometimes but definitely a wonderful effort by a debutant director”
Average Reviews
2.5 “DHOBI GHAT is surely a different and brave step in Indian cinema; but not exactly a pleasing one.”
2.5 “Films about cities, as opposed to films about characters or plot, are soaked in a different kind of romanticism.”
Rediff 2
Negative Reviews

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