From one perspective, Dhobi Ghat, is not the story of Shai, Munna, Arun or Yasmin. It could have been Tom, Dick, Rita and Mary. The script has used the characters as the canvas to portray Mumbai; the city of dreams for millions, who congreg...ate there, across the socio-economic berth. Even in the very small time that I have spent there, I have felt this dream as a palpable force. People working against all odds with the strong belief that Mumbai gives you back what it takes. Obviously there are the exceptions, but folklore’s are born out of success stories. Looking at the movie, from this angle, it has been a commendable effort though a partial one. Mumbai is much more. From the other perspective, the story has created a beautiful tapestry of the four lives. The props (Yasmin’s video recording and Shai’s coverage of micro-schemes) are very innovative, interesting and new ones. Munna was half baked while Arun was a déjà vu. Camera angles were very interesting, from Shai catching the city through the unfinished chassis of the building (found the use of the construction work very symbolic, though have no idea whether the director intended it to symbolize the concrete growth of Mumbai), to the use of Dhobi Ghat as a backdrop. The rat killing part was a learning and a little research showed that the rat killers have targets and are paid per dead rat and that the Mumbai Municipal Corporation also has a walk in interview for the same. Sahi, Yasmin and Munna were fresh.
Though Dhobi Ghat loses itself between trying to become the story of the city and story of four people, whose lives cross over a period of time, I would definitely see it again.