Kiran Rao’s claim to fame was that she hooked Aamir Khan, period.
Her directorial debut was expected by many, self included, to be just another star wife deciding to do something with all the free publicity and money thats part of the package.
Surprisingly, Dhobi Ghat is an amazing directorial debut.. The movie is amazing.. I mean the critics have already panned it for its non commercialism or lack of the typical cliches that make a bollywood film. But
inspite of thanks to the absense of the nonsensical extras, the movie is brilliant.
It is not an Aamir Khan movie in the sense that he does not take over from the first scene with a powerhouse performance that leaves you spell bound. But Aamir essays a role in his usual perfectionist style.
heroine , rather the lead female role, played by Monica Dogra, plays the NRI Indian to perfection. You have to meet a few of the kind to actually believe its possible. The best of which is expressed when she visits the film theatre to see a hindi film for the first time.
Prateik (i hope i spelled tat right) Babbar is a find, his role of the silent bewildering brother in Jaane Tu ya Jaane Na was just a teaser of sorts. The wannabe actor dhobi boy who falls for the first girl that was nice to him touched a few strings with quite a few friends. Most girls dont know the effect they have on boys when its such subtle things that make a world of difference.
The girl that plays Yasmin, Kriti Malhotra, is almost poetically portrayed. Aamir addiction to her justified. I am surprised that Kiran Rao got so many things right about how men think and feel (but it shouldnt be difficult to guess)
Oh and the ones that wonder why the movie ended like that, just know that there was no other way it could go forward.
I loved the movie, i am not saying there are award winning performances or gut wrenching beauty. Dhobi Ghat is more an experience to be savoured like a fine wine. Its the after taste that makes you feel good about it.
PS: Yes Aamir Khan paintings are wretched, but thankfully we are spared that sight for most of the movie. Anybody who liked them can take a hike, that will not be entertained as a point of debate here.