Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dhobi Ghat: A squandered opportunity

Dhobi Ghat must have been one of the most eagerly awaited releases in the past few years. Much of this has to do with the reputation that Amir Khan has over the years acquired with regard to the films that he chooses to act in or, of late, to produce. The pint-sized giant, whose fame seems to have reached far-off places, as evident from his inclusion in the jury of Berlin film festival, has indeed come a long way.
Even his worst critics would agree that he tries to be different every time he faces the camera. And ever since he has donned the producer's mantle, he has demonstrated remarkable courage in throwing his lot with projects like "Peepli Live" which would have otherwise not seen the light of the day in an age when NFDC has become defunct and the enigmatic monster called market is setting the new rules of the game.
One, however, wonders whether Khan would have liked to be a part of Dhobi Ghat had it not been the directorial debut of his wife. Whatever may be his shortcomings, Khan certainly has a keen sense of what would strike a chord with the audience. And that is one reason why his films are either blockbusters like 3 idiots or like "Peepli Live" and his own directorial venture "Taare Zameen Par" do well enough to recover the cost. One wonders whether he would be able to do the same this time.
It is not to say that Kiran Rao's debut venture is trash. It is more like a squandered opportunity, an unfulfilled promise. The opportunity and the promise to tell an engaging story.
It claims to be (!!!) telling the tales of four characters - an NRI who is in Mumbai on a sabbatical, an artist who is recovering from the emotional trauma inflicted by a recent divorce, a migrant from a distant village who does all types of menial jobs for a living while keeping hopes alive for making it big in the tinsel town and a young, chirpy, naive small-time woman who battles loneliness in the big city where her marriage has brought her and who, upon finding that the world is a bit too crooked for her, opts out of life. Each and every character, on its own, had the potential of developing into a beautiful story. But the makers of the film seem to have little patience with these. None of the characters is given enough scope to evolve. The inter-connection between the four characters appears more contrived than convincing.
The end product is a complete mishmash. Even those who are not die-hard admirers of Amir would say - this is not one would expect from a man of his calibre. 


  1. आपसे सहमत हूँ कि धोबी घाट की सबसे बड़ी कमज़ोरी आमिर ख़ान हैं. उनका पेंटर वाला चरित्र फ़िल्म में ज़बरन ठूंसा गया लगा है.(शायद फ़िल्म को बिकाऊ बनाने के लिए आमिर को मजबूरन पर्दे पर उतरना पड़ा हो.)

    कई बार महसूस हुआ कि फ़िल्म की अलग-अलग कहानियाँ एक-दूसरे से बिल्कुल अलग चल रही हैं.

    इसके अलावा अमरीका-रिटर्न युवती वाला चरित्र कुछ ज़्यादा ही बनावटी लगा. ख़ास कर अमरीकी और देसी दोनों ही लहज़े में उसकी बोली बिदकाऊ लगी.

    किरण राव(और आमिर) की तारीफ़ इसलिए करनी होगी कि उन्होंने अलग तरह की फ़िल्म बनाने का साहस किया. प्रतीक बब्बर से बढ़िया काम कराने का श्रेय भी एक हद तक उनको जाएगा.

  2. I dont agree with u sir, Dhobi ghat is a dream debut for any director and Kiran has done a splendid job. Just leave the other parts of this beautiful creation of Amir Khan production and if we only talk about the differences among the classes depicted in the film, we understand the undertone of the film. There are four classes, Shai from high class, Amir alias Arun from upper middle class, Kirti Malhotra alias woman in vediotape from lower middle class and Pratik aliam Munna from lower class, when we take the physical realtion in these four classes, we come to know that Kiran has just tried to portray the differences of these classes. Painter Arun feels sorry again and again for a one night stand and Shai says that she enjoyed it and cant understand why he feels sorry repeatedly. Munna falls in love with Shai and one day tries to kiss Shai when she is sleeping but doesnt and returns back. The woman in vediotape is suffering from another woman in her husband's life. These are not just stories but the pieces of the daliy life of different classes as this film is a diary as told. Definately film needed some more good treatment in some perticular areas but overall its a beautiful movie but Indian media didnt give its dues to it.....