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Monday, October 25, 2010

'Dhobi Ghat' [Mumbai Diaries]

It is the story of four lives, four characters, and more.... a story that is woven in Mumbai - a city of ever-changing dynamics, yet a city that charms and enthralls all with its unique character, a city that is a mute witness to the harmony and turmoil that binds the people who inhabit or just set foot on its terrains..... and, hence, Mumbai itself is the fifth character in the story.
Shai is an NRI banker who comes to Mumbai to pursue her passion for photography with little focus and understanding of the dynamics of the city. Her path crosses briefly with Arun, a reclusive painter who pushes her away the moment they begin to get close. The two are connected by their dhobi (washerman), Munna, who toils away with the hopes of becoming an actor. And, then, there is Yasmin, the recently married Muslim girl who records her life in Mumbai for her brother back home.

Eagerly waiting for the release of the film.....
For the uninitiated, 'Dhobi Ghat' marks the directorial debut of Kiran Rao, wife of Aamir Khan, and is produced under the prestigious banner of Aamir Khan Productions. It has received rave reviews already, after having been screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival this year. 'Dhobi Ghat' features Pratiek Babbar, alongside Aamir Khan, Monica Dogra, Kriti Malhotra, Danish Hussain, Jehan Manekshaw, Kitu Gidwani, Ashok Varma, Sanjivani Oagle, Aasha Pawar, Babita Sehgal, Rohit Tiwari, Jitendra Shinde, Nafisa Amin Khan and others.
The film's brilliant images have been captured by the promising cinematographer Tushar Kanti Ray, and the film boasts of an original musical score by Oscar-winning Argentine composer Gustavo Santaolalla.
First it was expected to be released in India this winter, however, the release date had then been relegated to the 25th of February, next year. Now, it is likely that the film will release a tad earlier than that, possibly on January 21st, before the cricket World Cup begins. Till then, all us fans have to just make do with catching up on the buzz generated, and feasting our eyes on the scenes. Happy viewing, folks!

aamir khan
(mumbai diaries)
a kiran rao film






Releasing January 21, 2011

[Pics & promotional material courtesy: Aamir Khan Productions Pvt. Ltd.]


aarav said...

Aamir Khan stands tall as an actor, director and producer and my regard for him has doubled in the recent past as he has put his super-stardom to good use by backing such pleasantly audacious projects as 'Lagaan', 'Taare Zameen Par', 'Peepli Live', 'Dhobi Ghat', and 'Delhi Belly'.
When Tom Cruise visited Mumbai to plug his latest film he was referred to in the press as the 'Aamir Khan of Hollywood'. And that says it all about this star that makes others seem like pygmies.
More power to Aamir, and all his forthcoming ventures.

Krishh said...

Vishal Bharadwaj is supposedly displeased with the possibility of Aamir's 'Dhobi Ghat' releasing on the same Friday as his own film 'Saat Khoon Maaf', starring Priyanka Chopra, but we, the fans of Aamir Khan, are surely happy at the prospect of getting to see our favorite actor on screen in January, as 'Dhobi Ghat' has been preponed from the February release date.

Vishesh said...

Pratiek Babbar, son of Raj Babbar and the late Smita Patil, is a bundle of hot talent.... he is sure to make it big as an actor provided he gets the right kind of roles. I loved him as the heroine's brother in 'Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na' and am eagerly looking forward to seeing him in 'Dhobi Ghaat'. And am sure Aamir won't disappoint (he never does) with this forthcoming home-production of his, that marks the debut of his wife, Kiran.
All the best to Pratiek, Kiran & Aamir!

Joy said...

Dhobi Ghat is in news much before the release here on the home turf, thanks for buzzing on it, buddy. As always, an Aamir Khan film it has been generating a lot of buzz, and rightly so. The international critics who have been privileged to watch it can't stop gushing about the subtleties embodied by the film, directed by a first-timer (Kiran Rao, who has also scripted it). The fact that Kiran is the wife of actor-producer Aamir Khan, didn't help her get an easy nod from 'Mister Perfectionist' Aamir Khan; Aamir must have doubly ensured that he didn't get caught on the wrong foot for having backed his wife's project. The fact that Aamir has acted in the film and his very character or its look had been kept from the Press, it was a well-guarded secret for months.
I am not only eager to catch this film being an Aamir-buff, but am also excited by the prospects that these non-mainstream films ('Peepli Live', 'Dhobi Ghat', 'Delhi Belly') are being privy to, in these difficult times..... surely a welcome relief for cinema per se.

aryan rocks said...

Whatever Aamir Khan does, makes news - that's true. But what he has been doing, or rather trying to do, for cinema is no mean feat.
There will always be people who'll try to drag his projects into controversies, and I am sure that the recently quashed appeal in the court of law to find untoward prejudice in the naming of this film (Dhobi Ghat),purportedly offending the sensibilities of the dhobis, would be just one amongst many unnecessary smirks and raising of eyebrows likely to follow; hence all the best to Mr Aamir Khan and his brave efforts to hail good cinema.

Sounak said...

I am biting my nails in excitement.... waiting the release of "Dhobi Ghat". Pratiek is my most favorite in Bollywood Youngistaan. I hope he bags big masala movies too in the near future. And am also looking forward to catch Aamir-bhai on the big screen again!
All the best to Team Dhobi Ghat
and to you too, Ani!

Anirban Halder said...

Good introduction to the film that's started creating buzz. Seems pretty interesting subject, as any of the film that Aamir backs happen to be. Learnt that the narrative is non-linear, and the overall treatment is experimental. Am curious.

Dibyendu Paul said...

Well am simply amazed with Aamir as alwaz .. And I also find it so intriguing with all its fledges.. There is hardly anything matters for him to experimenting with the craft. And it alwaz make to driven to the kind of projection he is going to launch as such. kudos to him for all his creativity. eagerly waiting for this flick even.. :)

pallavi said...

From all that I have heard and read about 'Dhobi Ghat', it seems to be a fantastic film..... now all that remains is to watch it in theaters! I am going be among the first to do so when it releases, for sure!;-)

Arunima said...

Thanks for giving a sneak peak of Dhobi Ghat. The story line sounds exciting and so is the star cast! Eagerly waiting for its release :-)

namit said...

I am sure the film will be a major success. Like 'Peepli Live', this too is likely to be reckoned as a landmark film, for many reasons. I am eager to see Prateik Babbar being lavished praises upon. Just as it has worked wonders at the international forums, the film should click with the Indian audience as well, a good film is just that, it does not need to be compartmentalized or classified i any other way. Films have their own language, and I put my trust in the sensitivity of the viewers, I pray that a film like 'Dhobi Ghat' finds its own viewers. A push in the right direction is being given nonetheless by the film's producer (and actor) Aamir Khan. I wish Aamir and Kiran all the best.

Anindo Sen said...

That's my one-word verdict on seeing the film.
I had no idea that Kiran Rao's debut film would make me so proud. I consider 'Dhobi Ghat' to be as much a landmark film as Anusha Rizvi's 'Peepli Live' (it was a pleasant surprise to catch Anusha Rizvi in a bink-and-you-miss cameo in 'Dhobi Ghat'). I would like to congratulate the entire cast and crew of 'Dhobi Ghat' for all the good work, but would like to reserve a special mention for Gustavo Santaolalla, whose musical score was an unforgettable embellishment (I wish I find the soundtrack album soon at stores!) and Tushar Kanti Ray, whose cinematography was as integral to the film as Christopher Doyle's images are for Wong Kar-wai's masterpieces on celluloid.

aryan rocks said...

I was completely aghast to read the nasty jibes made by Rituparna Chatterjee in her attempt of a review of the film 'Dhobi Ghat', for ibnlive. I would like to request you to come up with an extensive take on the film. I am proud of the film 'Dhobi Ghat' and I would be glad if you write some more on the viewing experience (I wish I could do it myself).

ramonryan said...

I am so very thrilled that we are having films like 'Wake Up Sid', 'Udaan', 'Peepli Live', and 'Dhobi Ghat' being made here. The film-making scenario in India has surely witnessed a sea-change in the last few years, and the films are definitely making us proud. They are being accepted and acclaimed critically, all at the same time. That's what I call a heartening achievement! A revolution of sorts.

Anindo Sen said...

Thank you, Ramon.
Thank you, Aryan.
There have been plenty of requests by mail, asking me to comment more on the film, including Kunal (who implored me to write this extensive comment).
I am delighted, in fact absolutely thrilled, that so many of the viewers who have seen the film and checked out my post have conveyed their admiration for the film.
I had myself conveyed to Aamir Khan on Facebook that this is his best film till date.... the best that he has backed, as well as the best that he has acted in. His performance, I know, hasn't been liked by some, including the eminent reviewer Anupama Chopra (on NDTV Picture This) who had otherwise good things to say about the film; I guess they failed to recognize the character of Arun that he has played, rather internalized for the film. Arun is not an easy character to portray, and poses a challenge for the lay viewer as well.
'Dhobi Ghat' is all about feelings, it is all about emotions, articulated and even the unspoken stuff. It is poetry on celluloid. I found Nikhat Kazmi's review (in the Times of India) of the film and the analysis of the very character of the film to be the best. She is a good critic, and her criticism is at its best when the work reviewed is also of a high standard.... understandably so for most reviewers.
After watching the movie, not just once, but twice (back to back), my good friend Sayantan has come up with the best take on the film, and I can't resist quoting him (he says the very words that I would have wanted to say, but could not, being much too mesmerized by the experience - I watched it just once).... he says: "Dhobi Ghat is the tale of two shirts (one belongs to Arun and the other belongs to Shai, both pivotal in the way they meet and their tales intermingle), some black and white photographs, 3 video cassettes, a beautiful painting, the Mumbai rains, the Arabian Sea and a portfolio.... (and many such details that pepper and build the narrative).
'Dhobi Ghat' soaks one with the images, with the visuals, with the frames, so very muted, yet so very poignant.
One senses getting washed, dried on the line under the sun, captured in the black & white images clicked by Shai, smeared by the vibrant colors on Arun's vacant canvas, one's name being inscribed on the sifting sands of the sea-beach, getting drenched by the rains.... haunted by the sound of the Mumbai downpour, by the pregnant silences, by the loving caresses, by the unspoken and unrequited feelings." Can't agree more.... it's a portrait of love and longing, so astutely and maturely filmed by Kiran Rao, in her debut offering.
The theme of alienation, of one's surrender and giving up, throwing the cudgel, has not been understood by many reviewers. For them, let me quote Sayantan's take on his favorite minor character, it's self-explanatory... he says: "it is the old woman, who had become totally mute with sadness.... Her eyes look totally lost..... as if she has gone somewhere and cannot find her way back...... yet, when Arun breaks down, she looks at him, once, then again returns back to her own world. That character was so intriguing."
Kiran Rao's vision, as a director is so strong, we want more from this feisty director in the future. We are so proud of you, Aamir Khan, and so proud of your presentation: "Dhobi Ghat".

sakagaze's laziest student said...

Oh, wow that's super positive reviews. Looking forward to it. Thanks.

Eric said...

Had missed the film when it had released. Caught it on DVD just a few days back. I was pleasantly surprised, nee overwhelmed.
It is one of those rare films which can be both intensely gripping and heartbreakingly beautiful. It's epically dramatic, yet shorn of the excesses of an epic, a gem of a film. The emotions are raw and the moments are depicted so poignantly! The characters and situations are so very realistic! Kiran Rao, take a bow.
'Dhobi Ghat' left me moved and mesmerized.

Piyush said...

I think this film made less waves than expected. Maybe it was a little ahead of its times. But that's what all landmark films are!
It deserved more acclaim. I found in it a very original voice and a very personal signature of its maker(s). I salute the attempt hence.

ranjann said...

One of my favorite films, 'Dhobi Ghat' is a phenomenal cinematic feat, according to me. It says so much without the hoo-ha that one usually associates with Indian cinema. This kind of cinematic excellence is almost unheard of in the films made in Mumbai.

Cherry Blossom said...

Kiran Rao is truly a filmmaker I look up to. She should make more films.
By her own admission, an idea has been cooking in her head and she has been clearing a little space for the same as it needs to be chiselled. So, here's wishing her all the best for the crystallization and execution of her next idea.