Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries): movie review
'Dhobi Ghat' ('Mumbai Diaries') is an amalgam of soap opera and street-level realism.
Mumbai is a city of 14 million people and writer-director Kiran Rao focuses on four of them. â€śDhobi Ghatâ€ť (â€śMumbai Diariesâ€ť) is an odd amalgam of soap opera and street-level realism, with, alas, the former trumping the latter.
One plot strand, semidisposable, involves an amateur videographer (Kriti Malhotra). The bulk of the â€śdiariesâ€ť are about Shai (Monica Dogra), an attractive Indian investment banker in America who returns on her sabbatical to Mumbai and falls into a one-night stand with acclaimed painter Arun (Aamir Khan, one of Bollywoodâ€™s biggest stars). The tryst leaves her breathless and him bored.
By contrast, Munna (Prateik), a handsome washerman, or dhobi, falls hard for Shai, who, inexplicably, regards him only as a friend even though he seems more her type in every way. Weâ€™re supposed to believe that their class differences provide an uncrossable gap, but the frustration of this film is that nobody ever tries to bridge it. Grade: C (Unrated.)
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