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Dhobi Ghat's first look for the dhobis

Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao host first screening for the washermen from Mahalaxmi’s Dhobi ghat. Since the protagonist of the film, Munna, works as a washerman, director Kiran Rao had to scout for real people to cast in that role.

bollywood Updated: Jan 17, 2011 16:16 IST
Hiren Kotwani

Aamir Khan is known to connect on a personal level with the common man. Years ago, when he shot his maiden production,

Lagaan

, in a Bhuj village, he ensured that he hosted a screening for the residents after the film was completed.



On Saturday afternoon, he did something similar, when he screened his forthcoming release,

Dhobi Ghat

, for a group of washermen from Mahalaxmi’s

dhobi ghat

. Since the protagonist of the film, Munna, works as a washerman, director Kiran Rao had to scout for real people to cast in that role. Although she eventually selected Prateik for her film’s lead character, she ensured that he hung out at the actual

dhobi ghat

to familiarise himself with Munna’s profession.



Prateik Babbar Real cinema


“Before Kiran shot with Prateik at the Mahalaxmi

dhobi ghat

for 22 days, she saw to it that he worked with them to get under the skin of his character. On the last day of shooting at the location, the representatives of the washermen’s association expressed their eagerness to see the film when it was ready,” reveals a source from the

Dhobi Ghat

team, adding that Rao promised to do a screening for the locals before it released in the theatres.



Promise fulfilled


Khan and Rao hosted a special show of the Hindi version of

Dhobi Ghat

at Ketnav theatre in Bandra. The couple had another surprise in store for the 60-odd washermen who turned up for the

dekko

of the movie. A sumptuous lunch was organised for them.



Bhadri Prasad, an old washerman who has been working for many years at the Mahalaxmi

dhobi ghat

said, “It was very nice of Aamir

saab

and Kiran madam to show us the movie. Prateik

bhai

was good to interact with. I remember he’d work very hard on getting everything right for his role of a

dhobi

. He’s done a wonderful job.”



On his part, Khan maintained, “They were very helpful during the shooting and supported the unit throughout the schedule at the

dhobi ghat

. So the least we could do for them was to show the film as a gesture of gratitude for their help while shooting at their place.”