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Dhobi Ghaat


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!!

Comments

  1. Thank God!!!!!!
    There is atleast one person who liked the movie as i did.
    Thanks Niralee....
    Well written!!
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. beautifully put! perfect review for the most amazing film in recent times..
    'the city is the silent witness of every little movement'.. so true..! it really was the city writing its experiences than it being the other way round.. i had not thought of that until i read this..

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  3. Totally! I missed Mumbai so so much while I watched the movie.
    Our lives our flavoured by so many elements that we care/dont care about and the movie beautifully encircles around these four people from totally different backgrounds, like we are around an unknown neighbourhood, shopkeepers, friends, canteenwala...
    I especially loved the character Yazmin Noor, her innocence, love for her brother, her eagerness about an upbeat city she has never been to, n finally how she fades into an amazing work at canvas..!
    n ofcourse Munna :)

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  4. i dont like your reviews yaar!!! they make me want to watch that movie right then n there which i cant!!! :( so i dont like it!!! phbbbttttt!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. hey Niralee..liked ur review..quite sensitive!:)!
    my fav. line.."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."
    that was a brilliantly conceptualised crux!

    here's another interesting rvw on this film..
    http://dolcenamak.blogspot.com/search?q=dhobi+ghat&updated-max=2010-09-11T08%3A50%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=20

    ReplyDelete

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कविता

कविता लिखना किसी इंसान के बस की बात नहीं है
कविता ख़ुद ही अपने आप को लिखती है
इक ज़रिया है बस हम तो
कविता ख़ुद ही ख़ुद को आईना में दिखती है

यह ख़ुद अपनी ज़ुबां चुनती है
लफ्ज़ अपने ख़ुद ही ढूँढ़ती है
कोशिश कर लेना तुम कभी
झूठ लिखते ही ये टूटती है

देर रात यह सपने में आती
मन के दरवाज़े पर दस्तक देती
लिफ़ाफ़े में बंद चिट्ठी में
अपने आप को तुम्हें दे जाती
लिखावट काग़ज़ पर तुम्हारी है बेशक़
पर कलम में सियाही तो वो ही भर जाती

कभी यूँ ही शाम को मिलने आती
खिड़की के पास बैठ चाय की चुस्कियाँ लगाती
रोम रोम में इक महक सी भर जाती है
दिल की धड़कनें कानों तक गूँज जाती है
बाहर की खिड़की खोलते खोलते
यह रूह के दरवाज़े खोल जाती है

एक बार कविता हर किसी को छूने आती है
जब टुटा हो दिल प्यार में, तो यह कुछ ज़्यादा जी लुभाती है
जब हाथ बढ़ाए तुम्हारी ओर, झट से थाम लेना, साहीर
यह बार बार गले नहीं लगती है।

The 20 lakh package

In the corner of a room Clustered only with a
rusty stove And an old bed, A tattered book he read to his sister Trying to put her to bed.
The day had been long He had to cook with Baba And clean and dust, The woman of the house Had lads she could trust
At night Baba watched over the neighborhood And him, over their humble abode For his earnest parents This was his gentle ode
Finally came home Mommy Who was playing nanny To another little angel Whose parents took turns too Earning their hefty packages

L’Amour Courtois: Really a phenomenon of just the Middle Ages?

After the “epopee” or epic that greatly valorizes the honor of a chevalier who dies in the battle field, literature took on a new dimension, with love playing an essential role. The chevalier was now more eager to prove his worth to his mistress than to his land. It was not just important to love but win his love over the others.
Almost ten centuries later, the concept of love, for men, does not seem to have changed much. This is especially true for Indian men (am not commenting on others as I hardly know any). L’amour courtois rejects all kinds of indiscretion and also any hasty confession of love, everything has to be done as per a “code of conduct”: friendship --> courtship (the most important and probably also the longest lasting stage) --> love.
Is it related to the masculinity of men and their perpetual need to prove it to themselves and to others? Even in today’s age, men prefer a woman who plays the role of the Dame courtoise, or of the Indian “devi” in the Indian context…