Review: Dhobi Ghat

An art film, to me, falls into either of two categories. One kind strikes audience with a brilliant sigh, making us wonder how a complex thought can be so simply put (E.g. Black Swan). The other kind is a folder of scribbles thrown at you, which does not make any sense even if you arrange in any order. Dhobi Ghat belongs to second category. It’s a high profile, big banner, “star” cast, much anticipated commercial-art movie which makes you feel you are reading few torn pages of someone else’s dairy. Probably, that’s the reason wise say you shouldn’t read someone else’s dairy. It’s so freaking boring!

Dhobi Ghat
image via wikipedia

Dhobi Ghat is not a traditional Bollywood commercial-art movie; hence my comments are also not regular ones. Movie is attributed with fine acting and brilliant direction. Bummer – it is pointless and boring. It neither does the justice to the time spent in cinema nor to the pop-corn bought. (Just a thought: Movie like this is the reason why Akshay Kumar in industry, to bring pointless but not boring movies). Dhobi Ghat revolves around a modern art painter Arun (Amir Khan) obsessed with video letters of Yasmin. At the same time NRI investment banker Shai (Monika Dogra) stalks him while successfully manage to get herself obsessed by Munna (Prateik) the Dhobi, whom she meets on her clichéd poverty trip. Arun changes houses! That’s all – I dint miss anything to explain on the plot!

All newcomers (all of them except Amir) have done nice job, justice to their roles, while Amir still struggles with “new age” acting – the natural one. Amir acting still stuck in mid 90s standard of great acting, I feel he was weakest link in acting department. Kiran Rao’s direction is great, even without considering this is her first presentation. Actually this is a relief! Since for a long time now Farah Khan was taking all the sympathy votes for being the only female Bollywood mainstream director. Now Farah can retire and Kiran can take her place with an understanding that her first movie is a mistake and she won’t be making a pointless movie again.

After Dhobi Ghat, I went into depression for a while and was actually looking for an Akshay Kumar kind of movie to undo this effect. We don’t run out of options do we? I chose Vijay’s Kaavalan over “Yamla Pagla Diwana”. As anticipated it was crapy one and boom! I am back to this world again, Thanks to Vadivelu!. Anyways, here are some options; if you would like undo the hangover after watching Dhobi Ghat (I used all three):

Kaavalan: Vijay is a kick boxer, student, body guard, dancer, comedian, singer, honest but innocent, most eligible bachelor as usual! Basically he is almost all the things I dreamed I would become when I was 12.

Black Swan: Amazingly brilliant movie. Watch it yourself, I am running out of words to explain it.

127 Hours: Another brilliant masterpiece by Danny Boyle. It surely will bring you goose bumps (as “The way back” did). Again, I am running out of words to explain the movie. One note on AR Rahman though! One more evidence to show he copies tunes, from his own work! Or, do we call it reuse? Some part of this movie has background tune of Raavan (Behene De to be specific.). Probably he thought the crowd that watched Raavan and watching 127 Hours are mutually exclusive. He is obviously wrong isn’t it?

10 thoughts on “Review: Dhobi Ghat

  1. I left a comment here this morning!!! I liked the movie, the acting, the direction, the peek into the lives of four very different kind of people… also enjoyed the colours & the photography. Loved the photographs Shai shot and the dhobi ghat, and the market scenes. Loved a heroine who could afford to disrespect our class, caste and gender rules. And a naive adolescent – not shown in bad light for not understanding that she was not in love with him.


  2. although the movie scores better in acting and direction compared to the usual bollywood movies, it fails to some extent to bring out the flavours of the characters and connect with the audience.

    agree, aamir struggles to act naturally.

    my rating for the movie: 3/5


  3. i liked the movie. it was different in a good way. i didnt think it was pointless. not all movies need to have a specific story with a specific purpose or moral or ending or any sort of message. this is the kind of movie where you can choose your own ending. you can interpret it it in your way and that itself makes it interesting..


  4. Hi,thanks for liking my post about Bollywood movies. 🙂 I think I’d like to watch Dhobit Ghat too (despite the review you wrote…hehe) and the other movies (Black Swan and 127 Hours).


  5. OMG dude…you got into my brain! I swear to God…last night after watching the movie I was like WTF? The end credits already? I found the movie seriously lacking in…er…STORY! What is the point you are trying to make Ms. Rao? Argh! I was frustrated!


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