When Aamir Khan's wife Kiran Rao decided to make a film about Mumbai, the movie buffs of the world sat up and took notice.
Dhobi Ghat may be a small budget film and the only known name it can boast of is Aamir Khan but the film has managed to create an unprecedented buzz. The film, which hits theatres today, has received excellent reviews from the critics.
In a rather poetic review of the film, popular film critic Nikhat Kazmi has called Dhobi Ghat a lyrical ode to the modern malady.
Kazmi writes, "Kiran Rao makes a sensitive debut with Dhobi Ghat, a film that is heavily imbued with mood and soul. She uses her characters smartly to dissect the much talked about spirit of Mumbai without getting maudlin. In fact, the high point of the film is its understated elegance as the lead players slip in and out of the frame, chasing dreams and aspirations."
The film stars Prateik Babbar, Aamir Khan and Monica Dogra in the lead roles.
Taran Adarsh, who is known as the sole crusader of commercial cinema in the world of critics' cynicism, applauded the film.
"Dhobi Ghat is an imposing and vibrant cinematic portrait, appending itself to the new wave of independent Indian cinema which I am extremely pleased to applaud. It is art house cinema with European sensibilities, embellished with a well thought out story that's devoid of clichés."
"This ingenious motion picture caters more to the intelligentsia and connoisseurs of world cinema and will therefore garner more patronage and benefaction from the metropolitan audience in India chiefly and global spectators predominantly."
The film revolves around four people from different backgrounds whose worlds intersect and leaves a lasting impact on their lives.
Deeming the film as a breath of fresh air, Kaveree Bamzai writes, "Some movies knock you out with a punch, others gently lay you down, soothe your fevered brow and lull you into a dream. Movies about Mumbai tend to do the former. But Kiran Rao's deeply personal Dhobi Ghat takes you by the hand, leads you to its doorstep and then leaves you to gawk, with pleasure."
Looking through her fine lens, film critic Anupama Chopra manages to find a few faults in the otherwise perfect film.
"What doesn't work as well is the pacing. Rao's build-up of characters is painfully slow with the first 30 minutes or so being the most problematic. Some of the early scenes are clumsy and the disjointed narrative just isn't engaging enough. Either the film will sink into your skin like a slow ache or it will be bewildering and downright boring."
Going by the reviews and the buzz that the film has already generated, it will be interesting to see how the film does on the box office.