New Delhi, Jan 21 (Jagran News Network): Cast: Aamir Khan, Prateik Babbar, Monica Dogra, Kriti Malhotra
Director: Kiran Rao
Jagranpost.com rating: Three stars and a half

That Mumbai is a city of dreams is known to anyone who has wanted to move up in life. That the city doesn’t intrude into the lives of countless dreamers but just watches on is a reality that we have not realized. Kiran Rao’s debut directorial venture ‘Dhobi Ghat’ portrays the Maximum City through the lives of four characters who are after their dreams.

The film is the story of five characters - Yasmin (Kirti Malhotra), Arun (Aamir Khan), Shai (Monica Dogra), Munna (Prateik Babbar) and the city of Mumbai which is metaphorically depicted as an old woman who is on the sidelines of every body’s life, watching and dying.

After a chance intimate encounter with Arun, who is a painter, Shai, an investment banker from America and an amateur photographer, obsesses over him while her dhobi Munna pines for Shai. Then there is Yasmin, a previous tenent of the house where Arun now lives, who has left video tapes of her life-story in the house. Arun finds them and falls in love with the newly married girl who is in a failed marriage.

Each of character is in search for something in one another, while the fifth character, Mumbai, simply stares blankly at them.

The characters are believable as are their stories. Prateik is bound to become the heartthrob of the new generation, while Kirti Malhotra's innocence has to be seen to be believed. Real life singer Monica brings out the uncertainty of her character beautifully.
 
Aamir Khan lives up to his reputation of being a perfectionist. He gets into the skin of the character and gives a performance which is subtle and apt.
 
Very few people in the world have sketched any city with such tender love, care and affection. Add to the lilting melody that is Mumbai in the film is composer Gustavo Santaolalla who gives a haunting background score.
 
Another good thing about the film is that nowhere does it slacken or lose pace. On the contrary, it unfolds almost like a mystery, like a rose bud, only to scintillate the senses in full bloom. It thus might become the low budget indie Indian film that will finally make money like big-budget Bollywood fare.