Dhobi Ghat is an English Language movie, most of it, at least, and is dubbed in Hindi. With it, Kiran Rao makes a debut worth remembering. She has employed a style of film making that is totally new to Bollywood: which is why it does not look like a Bolly Production at all. If it was Guzaarish last year that was beautiful, haunting, engaging, something new, then for this year, it is Dhobi Ghat (as of yet!). So will the list of similarities between the two stretch as far as Dhobi Ghat meeting the same fate: that of being a horrible failure at the Box Office? Highly likely, because for the first time in years, an Aamir Khan film hardly had less than a half-full, let alone house-full, first day first show.
Staying true to its realistic touch, it does not have any songs to interrupt the flow of the movie. Just a few beautiful soundtracks that are amazingly well done. The direction of the movie is smooth, kudos to Kiran for that, and the performances are something as well. No doubt, Aamir Khan stands out as the divorced painter who canít decide whether he likes the Photographer or not. His unnamed connection that is born with the woman in the DV Tapes is a touching aspect that no one in the film is aware of. And the fact that one old lady who probably knows everything, but speaks nothing, is a mysteriously interesting way to haunt the viewers. Pratiek is also brilliant as the shy Dhobi trying to follow his dream of being an actor. Monica as Shai the Photographer is also good. Her role is the center in a way, since she constitutes the female in the love triangle.
Dhobi Ghat has been the third film of this year that is brilliant in its own way. If No One Killed Jessica made India proud of herself, Yamla Pagla Deewana made India laugh at its fun senselessness, then Dhobi Ghat identifies itself as the heart and soul of the India we know it as. From social differences, to love, to what extent one can go for love, to concern, to worry, to complex minds and thoughts, to some brilliant film making, it has it all.
But I repeat: this one is NOT a mass entertainment film. I am sure most people would disagree with my viewpoint expressed in this review. But I promise you this: if you are the kind of viewer who appreciates stuff like Dhobi Ghat, then no way in this sweet motherland of ours would you dare to say that Dhobi Ghat is a piece of trash.