After films like Lagaan, Taare Zameen Par and Peepli (Live), Aamir Productions is back with another project – Dhobi Ghaat (Mumbai Diaries).
As the subtitle (in plural) suggests, the film is about the lives of four different people in Mumbai- a painter- Arun (Aamir Khan), Shaay, a New York based investment banker on a “sabbatical”, Yazmin Noor (Kriti Malhotra), an innocent girl from UP who has never been to Mumbai before she is married off here, and Munna (Prateik), the Dhobi. As you would expect, their lives are intertwined in a strange manner. It would be difficult to reveal these entanglements without giving away the total plot, so go watch it for yourselves.
If people decide to walk out of theatres complaining, “story nahin hai”, they would only be partially wrong. Stories just form the most superficial layer of the film and hence there are not hundred events one after the other like in a James Bond movie. The movie is about the city, its different facets, its meaning to each one who lives here. It would not be wrong to say that it’s the city that’s the protagonist of the film. Kiran Rao has beautifully used various means to do so; “chitthis”, photographs, guided tours, views from different kind of windows, different kind of residences and many more. The viewer definitely knows that not even of one the characters nor anything that makes up for what they are, is not a matter of chance, every color has been carefully chosen to complete this tableau. Although color and poetry play an essential role, lack of adequate background music seems to bother the viewer at times.
While Aamir Khan tends to be “old” and repetitive, Prateik is the showstopper! His smiling, crying, blushing, everything is to die for! Kriti Malhotra and Monica Dogra are pretty convincing with their roles.
Rather than the film being constituted of diaries of these people, it’s a diary of the city itself. Like the eternal nature that becomes the “seul soutien” for the Romantics, the city is the silent witness of every little movement. You can just confide in it.
The film ends with the most unconventional confessions of love...If you always thought life in Mumbai was like a harmonious synchronized piece of music, but you could not compose it, Kiran Rao does it in the most aesthetic fashion for you. Must watch for all city lovers. And for those who do not belong here yet, this Mumbai Darshan is totally reliable and enjoyable!!