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Dhobi Ghat

Dhobi Ghat

Mumbai Diaries

Kiran Rao

  • Country: India
  • Year: 2009
  • Language: English, Hindi
  • Producer: Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao
  • Executive Producer: B. Shrinivas Rao
  • Screenplay: Kiran Rao
  • Runtime: 100
  • Programmes:

In the teeming metropolis of Mumbai, four people separated by class and language are drawn together in compelling relationships. Shai, an affluent investment banker on a sabbatical, strikes up an unusual friendship with Munna, a young and beautiful laundry boy with ambitions of being a Bollywood actor, and has a brief dalliance with Arun, a gifted painter. As they slip away from familiar moorings and drift closer together, the city finds its way into the crevices of their inner worlds.

ArtsArchitecture & DesignFirst Time FeatureIndia

screening times

    • Friday September 10
    • 6:00:00 PM
    • Saturday September 11
    • 8:00:00 PM
    • Saturday September 18
    • 12:00:00 PM
    • Tiff Bell LightBox 1

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

The rains in Mumbai are a beautiful curse. Sheets of water fall over the city, drenching and cleansing and casting vast millions in the same grey, glistening hue. Kiran Rao sets her impressive debut feature during Mumbai's monsoon season, using the sound and visuals of the rains to bridge the divides between her characters. This is a love letter to her city, most of all to the work and art that drives Mumbai, rain or shine.

Indian superstar Aamir Khan plays Arun, a brooding painter introduced at a gallery launch of his work. Uninterested in small talk, he strikes up a flirtation with Shai, an Indian American woman visiting her family in the city. The next morning, awkwardness descends and he practically shoves her out the door. But, in the way of the Maximum City, Shai and Arun find themselves inextricably linked. They share a laundry man, a dhobi, who picks up and delivers their clothes. One of the millions of workers who keep Mumbai humming, Zohaib maintains a friendly but formal relationship with Arun. Shai, however, becomes fascinated with Zohaib and wants to follow him to the dhobi ghat, the city's sprawling laundry district, where she hopes to indulge her photography hobby by capturing him at work.

Informed by Wong Kar-wai and Tsai Ming Liang, but directing with her own intimate sensibility, Rao draws her three characters together against the backdrop of a city that gives and takes in equal measure. It took years for American independent cinema to develop its own narrative voices in contrast to Hollywood storytelling. In India, the emergence of a contemporary indie style is happening right now. Dhobi Ghat marks a major step forward for Indian filmmaking. It's exciting that Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao are taking that step together.

Cameron Bailey

director bio

Kiran Rao was born in Bangalore, India, and earned a B.A. in economics from Bombay University before completing graduate studies in mass communication at Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi. She worked as an assistant director on the Academy Award®-nominated Lagaan (01), as well as Monsoon Wedding (01), Saayitha (02) and Swades: We the People (04). Dhobi Ghat (10) is her first feature film.

full credits

Principal Cast: Aamir Khan, Prateik Babbar, Monica Dogra, Kriti Malhotra
Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao
Executive Producer:
B. Shrinivas Rao
Tushar Kanti Ray
Nishant Radhakrishnan
Ayush Ahuja
Gustavo Santaolalla
Production Designer:
Manisha Khandelwal
Production Company:
Aamir Khan Productions
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