Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) (Movie)

Title — Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries)
Available on — Netflix
Production Country — India
Release Date — 2010
In this intimate drama, circumstances draw together four people from different castes – which would normally preclude them from forming friendships.

🪶 Story & Synopsis

“Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries)” is a poignant 2010 Indian drama film directed by Kiran Rao, marking her directorial debut. Produced by Rao and Aamir Khan, the film features a stellar cast including Prateik Babbar, Monica Dogra, Kriti Malhotra, and Khan in lead roles. Gustavo Santaolalla composed the evocative score and soundtrack, enriched by a song from Ryuichi Sakamoto.

The film beautifully weaves together the lives of four diverse individuals in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, where the city itself emerges as a central character shaping their destinies. A bored wife from a small town finds solace and companionship in Mumbai, with the ocean becoming her confidante and the monsoon rains adding a touch of romance absent in her marriage.

On the other hand, a young woman from New York embarks on an exploration of Mumbai’s landscapes and its people, delving into the intricate tapestry of life in the city’s lanes that transform with each passing day and night. The stark realities of the rich-poor divide are subtly portrayed, like the simple act of serving tea revealing societal hierarchies.

Prateik Babbar delivers a stellar performance, embodying the nuances of a Dhobi’s life in the slums with remarkable authenticity. His character’s daily routine by the railway tracks, the humble dwelling soaked by rain, and the makeshift privacy curtain of cloth patches offer a poignant glimpse into his world.

Aamir Khan’s character becomes entwined with a woman, leading to a journey from mere acquaintance to muse, and ultimately to a heart-wrenching loss. The film is replete with poignant moments, from subtle gestures of affection to unspoken desires and unfulfilled dreams, capturing the essence of every Mumbaikar’s quest for love, connection, and fulfillment.

The background score and ambient sounds of Mumbai enrich the narrative, while the well-crafted casting brings the characters to life with authenticity and depth. Kiran Rao’s directorial finesse shines through, transforming her vision into a cinematic masterpiece that resonates with poetic beauty and emotional depth.

“Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries)” stands out as a compelling portrayal of Mumbai’s multifaceted identity, offering a nuanced exploration of human relationships, aspirations, and the enduring spirit of the city. It is a cinematic triumph that captures the soul of Mumbai through a tapestry of interconnected lives, making it a must-watch for connoisseurs of poignant storytelling and evocative filmmaking.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Aamir Khan, Monica Dogra, Kriti Malhotra, Prateik, Aasha Pawar, Jyoti Pawar, Norma Lobo, Kitu Gidwani, Danish Husain, Jehan Manekshaw

Actor Role
Prateik Babbar Munna
Monica Dogra Shai
Kriti Malhotra Yasmin
Aamir Khan Arun

💬 Reviews and feedback

Welcome to the vibrant world of Bollywood where movies can either punch you out or gently lull you into a dream. Picture this: you’re strolling through the streets of Mumbai, and suddenly Kiran Rao’sDhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) grabs your hand, leads you on a cinematic journey, and then leaves you in awe.

Now, let’s dive into the review of Dhobi Ghat:

  • Plot: The movie weaves together the lives of four distinct characters against the bustling backdrop of Bombay. It’s like watching a colorful mosaic come to life as their paths intersect and diverge in unexpected ways. There’s a poetic beauty in how their stories unfold, mirroring the chaotic yet enchanting essence of Mumbai.
  • Themes and Tone: Dhobi Ghat delves into themes of longing, connection, and self-discovery. The film captures the pulse of Mumbai, portraying it as more than just a city—it’s a character in itself, shaping the destinies of those who dwell within its boundaries. The tone oscillates between melancholy and hope, painting a nuanced picture of human emotions.
  • Acting and Characters: With performances that tug at your heartstrings, each character is brought to life with depth and authenticity. From Aamir Khan’s nuanced portrayal to the ensemble cast’s chemistry, every actor shines in their respective roles, adding layers to the narrative.
  • Direction: Kiran Rao’s directorial debut showcases her prowess in capturing raw emotions and intimate moments on screen. Her storytelling is subtle yet impactful, allowing the audience to immerse themselves fully in the characters’ journeys.
  • Cinematography: The visuals in Dhobi Ghat are nothing short of mesmerizing. Each frame is meticulously crafted to capture the essence of Mumbai—the bustling streets, monsoon rains, and hidden alleyways—all come together to create a visual feast for the eyes.
  • Production Design: The attention to detail in recreating Mumbai’s diverse landscapes is commendable. From cramped chawls to upscale apartments, every setting feels authentic, grounding the characters’ experiences in a tangible reality.
  • Special Effects: While not relying heavily on CGI or flashy effects, Dhobi Ghat uses subtle visual cues to enhance storytelling. The focus here is on human connections rather than grandiose spectacles.
  • Pace and Editing: The film unfolds at a leisurely pace, allowing viewers to savor each moment without rushing through crucial scenes. The editing seamlessly weaves together different narratives, creating a cohesive storyline that keeps you engaged till the end.
  • Pace: A journey through Dhobi Ghat isn’t about speed; it’s about soaking in every emotion and revelation along the way.

Binge-watching Tip: To truly appreciate the intricacies of each character arc, watch Dhobi Ghat with undivided attention—let yourself be swept away by its emotional currents.

If you’re looking for a movie that transcends traditional narratives and offers a poignant glimpse into human connections amidst an urban backdrop,

RATING: 8/10

In conclusion,

Persistance pays off: Just like laundry drying at Dhobi Ghat takes time but yields fresh results,


Pros Cons
Deeply personal and emotional Uneven beginning
Lyrical and moody atmosphere Lacks a clear message or climax
Beautiful cinematography Some characters feel self-absorbed
Unique portrayal of Mumbai May not appeal to all viewers


  • Dhobi Ghat (film) - Wikipedia

    Dhobi Ghat(film)

    Dhobi Ghat
    Directed by Kiran Rao
    Written by Kiran Rao
    Produced by Aamir Khan

    Kiran Rao

    Starring Prateik

    Monica DograKriti MalhotraAamir Khan

    Cinematography Tushar Kanti Ray
    Edited by Nishant Radhakrishnan
    Music by Gustavo Santaolalla


    Aamir Khan Productions

    Distributed by UTV Motion Pictures

    Release dates

  • Mumbai Diaries (2010) - IMDb

    Dhobi Ghaat-Mumbai Diaries:I didn’t even know that Mumbai Diaries was a part of the title but thats what the film is truly about.Mumbai is not just a city/habitat but a character which is the common thread linking the 4 human characters.It’s like a person molding all of them differently.A bored wife from small town finds Mumbai – a companion,the ocean – a confidante, Mumbai rains- the romance that she could never find in her husband.A girl from New York finds Mumbai to be an exploration of the landscape and of human beings,life in its by lanes and how it changes by day and by night,discoveries and realities of life ,of the wedge still existing between the rich and the poor so simply shown in the way that tea is served to an employer and to a Dhobi.Prateik Babbar perfects the lingo and nuances of a Dhobi/life in slums to the T.Pratik’s character is so well defined from how he goes by the railway tracks doing his daily morning ablutions while the sky is still dark, the place where he lives, the bed soaked by the first sign of rains and for some privacy just a curtain made of patches of cloth and no door.Aamir’s character becomes intertwined with a woman who is just an accidental and disconnected find and goes on to become a muse and then to someone whose loss is nerve-wracking.There are just too many beautiful moments only to be seen to be experienced in this movie, the first time Prateik/Munna gathers enough courage just to share the armrest in the theater with Monica Dongra/Shai and how happy and blissfully he is doing that, how he finds shame in being a rat killer,how he falls in love but restrains himself even while having the opportunity, how he even tries to make her feel jealous even while realizing the futility of doing so. These characters are what every Mumbaikar is all about, going about our daily lives/chores while still aspire to find love, build a connection with another person,achieve our dreams, find a little romance by the sea, culinary bliss in the Malpua of Mohammed Ali road and Bhel-puri of Juhu. It’s all there in mumbai and in this beautiful film. The background score and the Mumbai noise lifts the film, the casting is apt and such a delight and the story lucid.I loved the end.For a first time director its certainly an achievement to transform her vision so beautifully on screen. Sheer Poetry in motion. Take a bow!

  • Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) — Film Review - The Hollywood Reporter

    ButKiran Rao’sDhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries)is easily one of the most dynamic cinematic portraits of that decaying, vibrant, impossible city ever, a film that considers the city itself as a character and looks closely at how it impacts people from a range of social classes. The film is all the more remarkable since it’s a first feature by Rao, who has worked in the Hindi film industry but never written or directed a film before.

  • Mumbai Diaries (2010) - Plot - IMDb

    • The lives of four people intersect in Mumbai: a washer-man who wants to become an actor, a banker-turned-photographer, a painter looking for inspiration, and a newly-married immigrant who journals her experiences on home video.
    • The lives of 4 different people in the city of Mumbai get entwined by fate and luck; Shai – an investment banker with a penchant for photography, Arun – a lonely painter, Munna – the “dhobi” who aspires to become an actor and Yasmin – making a video in her camcorder for her brother, who hasn’t been to Mumbai before. The film follows how their lives are changed by the presence of one another. Will it be for better or for worse?—kabya92
    • New York-based Banker, Shai, travels to Mumbai in order to take some photographs. She first meets with a reclusive artist, Arun, whose much taller wife divorced him and re-located to Australia along with their son. After spending a night together, she finds out they are incompatible but is unable to get him out of her mind. Arun then re-locates, and she finds out his new address through her Dhobi, Zohaib, rents a room opposite Arun’s building and starts to secretly photograph him. She befriends Zohaib, even prepares a portfolio so that he can advance his career as a Bollywood actor, as well as goes to the movies and eats out with him. Things change after Zohaib finds out that she prefers Arun, who is engrossed in watching recorded camcorder tapes of a previous tenant, Yasmin Noor; Zohaib’s brother, Salim, is killed; and Shai inadvertently discovers Zohaib’s night-time job.—rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)
    • Dhobi Ghat(Hindi-partly English) AKA Mumbai Diaries is the story of four very different people whose worlds collide. As they find themselves drawn into compelling relationships, the city finds its way into their lives. Fragments of their experience – seen through a video diary, black and white photos and paintings form a compelling portrait of Mumbai and its people.—Mannu.sadana@gmail.com
    • Arun (Aamir Khan), a reclusive artist, moves into a run-down flat in the older part of Mumbai. After attending an exhibition of his works, he meets Shai (Monica Dogra), an American banker who has come to Mumbai to devote time to her hobby, photography, and takes her back to his flat, where they have a one-night stand. The next morning, Arun expresses his disinterest in continuing the relationship and Shai angrily storms out.Shortly after, Munna (Prateik Babbar), a Dhobi (washerman) who dreams about getting a break in Bollywood, arrives to deliver Arun’s laundry. Arun moves into a new apartment the next day. While unpacking, he finds a small container that had been left by the previous tenant of the apartment. In it, he finds a silver chain, a ring, and three video tapes by Yasmin Noor. The tapes turn out to be video diaries in which Yasmin communicates with her brother. In the tape, she is generally happy, and shows her apartment, which is the same one Arun is occupying now. The next morning, Arun is informed by his manager that art dealers, impressed with his art, have decided to open a gallery in Sydney featuring his works. Arun is pleased by this, as it would also give him a chance to visit his ex-wife and child, settled in Australia. He begins to work on a new painting.When Munna delivers laundry to Shai’s house, they meet and soon become friends. Munna agrees to show Shai around Mumbai and help her gather photographs about the occupations of the poor. In return, Shai agrees to shoot a portfolio of Munna to help him get into the film industry. Arun continues watching Yasmin’s tapes and learns more about her life, including that she has recently married a man who seems distant. Shai obtains Arun’s new address from Munna. Shai’s father’s construction company is constructing a building opposite Arun’s apartment. Shai starts shooting photos of Arun from the construction site without Arun being aware of it.Munna continues struggling to find work in films. To earn a living, he washes clothes by day and kills rats by night. He disapproves of his brother’s criminal activity but they are close, and Munna’s brother uses his underworld contacts to try to get Munna a break in the industry. In the meantime, Munna shows Shai the different facets of Mumbai, including the laundry area, where he works as a launderer. Munna develops feelings for Shai but is unable to express them, mostly because of his working-class status. One day, Arun spots Shai nearby and invites her to his house. He apologizes about their first meeting. Munna sees them together and feels betrayed but Shai is able to convince him to keep helping her. One night, while Munna is at his rat-killing job, Shai sees him and takes pictures. Dismayed, Munna flees from her.Arun watches the final video by Yasmin. Her tone has changed considerably since the previous tape, in which she revealed learning that her husband was in an extramarital affair. She strongly indicates that she intends to commit suicide. Shaken by the knowledge that Yasmin might have hanged herself in that very room, Arun flees the apartment and moves into a new one. Munna arrives home to find that his brother has been killed. He and his family relocate to a new flat and Munna visits his brother’s contact in the film industry to show him his portfolio.Arun studies the painting he has been working on, which is now complete. Yasmin is prominently featured along with other things she had left behind. Shortly after, Shai finds Munna and Munna again tries to flee her, but she catches up with him. She insists upon their friendship and asks about Arun’s whereabouts. Still hurt, Munna lies to her and they exchange an abrupt farewell before Shai leaves. Moments later, Munna changes his mind and runs after Shai’s car, weaving through the traffic. The film ends when Munna catches up to the car and gives Shai Arun’s new address.


⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

In the movie “Dhobi Ghat,” also known as “Mumbai Diaries,” the story revolves around the lives of four main characters: Arun, Shai, Munna (Zohaib Shaikh), and Yasmin. Arun, a solitary artist, meets Shai, an American banker exploring her passion for photography in Mumbai. Their brief encounter leads to a one-night stand, but Arun is not interested in pursuing a relationship, which causes Shai to storm out of his home.

Shortly after, Munna, a washerman with dreams of Bollywood stardom, enters Arun’s life while delivering laundry. Arun discovers a container left by the previous tenant, Yasmin, containing personal items and three video tapes labeled as Pehli chitti (First letter), Doosri chitti (Second letter), and Aakhri chitti (Final letter). These tapes serve as video diaries where Yasmin communicates with her brother, offering insights into her life.

Arun, a talented artist, receives news about art dealers planning to showcase his work in Sydney, prompting him to reminisce about his past in Australia with his ex-wife and child. Meanwhile, Munna befriends Shai and guides her around Mumbai for her photography project on the city’s underprivileged areas. Shai, in return, promises to help Munna with his Bollywood aspirations by shooting a portfolio for him.

As the story progresses, Arun delves deeper into Yasmin’s tapes, learning about her struggles, including her troubled marriage. Shai, on the other hand, captures moments of Arun’s life through her photography. Munna, while assisting Shai, battles his feelings for her due to his social status constraints.

Tragedy strikes when Arun watches Yasmin’s final tape, revealing her decision to end her life. This revelation deeply affects Arun, leading him to vacate the apartment. Munna faces his own loss when he discovers his brother’s death, prompting him and his family to move. Despite the challenges, Munna remains determined to pursue his dreams in the film industry.

As the movie nears its conclusion, Arun completes a painting featuring Yasmin prominently. Shai, seeking Munna’s whereabouts, eventually learns the truth from him after his initial reluctance. Munna, in a moment of growth, chases after Shai to provide Arun’s new address, symbolizing a new beginning for their intertwined journeys.

The ending of “Dhobi Ghat” showcases the characters’ personal growth, resilience in the face of adversity, and the interconnectedness of their lives in the bustling city of Mumbai.

👪 Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating:

Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) has been rated A (Adults Only) due to its mature themes and content.

Parental Guide:

Sex & Nudity:

The film contains minimal sexual content with some suggestive scenes. There is no nudity shown.

Violence & Gore:

There are scenes depicting emotional intensity, arguments, and a brief moment of physical altercation. No graphic violence or gore is present.


Some mild profanity and expletives are used throughout the movie.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking:

There are scenes showing characters drinking alcohol in social settings.

Frightening & Intense Scenes:

The movie focuses on complex characters and their relationships, which might be more suitable for mature audiences due to the emotional depth portrayed.


Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) is a thought-provoking drama that delves into the lives of its characters in a nuanced manner. While it does contain some adult themes, it is suitable for adult viewers who appreciate introspective storytelling.

📺 Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
Netflix Watch Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) on Netflix. Unlimited TV shows and movies. Available for streaming with a Netflix subscription.

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • My muse, my whore, my beloved
  • Dhobi Ghat is a Poetry on Canvas!

🤖Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) Reddit Talks

Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) is an Indian film that follows the lives of four people in Mumbai. The film is set against the backdrop of the city’s vibrant and chaotic dhobi ghat, where clothes are washed by hand in large open-air laundries.

The film has been praised for its realistic portrayal of Mumbai and its complex characters. The film’s director, Kiran Rao, has said that she wanted to make a film that captured the “real Mumbai” and its people.

The film has also been praised for its innovative storytelling. The film is told through the perspectives of the four main characters, and the audience is left to piece together the story for themselves. This unconventional approach has been praised for its originality and for giving the audience a more immersive experience.

However, the film has also been criticized for its slow pace and lack of a clear plot. Some critics have said that the film is too meandering and that it lacks a strong central narrative.

Overall, Dhobi Ghat is a well-made and thought-provoking film that offers a unique perspective on Mumbai and its people. The film’s realistic portrayal of the city and its complex characters is sure to stay with you long after you’ve seen it.

Here are some of the specific topics that have been discussed on Reddit about Dhobi Ghat:

  • The film’s realistic portrayal of Mumbai. Redditors have praised the film for its authentic depiction of the city, its people, and its culture.
  • The film’s complex characters. Redditors have also praised the film’s characters, saying that they are well-developed and relatable.
  • The film’s innovative storytelling. Redditors have praised the film’s unconventional approach to storytelling, saying that it is refreshing and original.
  • The film’s slow pace and lack of a clear plot. Some Redditors have criticized the film for its slow pace and lack of a clear plot, saying that it is too meandering and that it lacks a strong central narrative.

Overall, Redditors have given Dhobi Ghat a positive reception. The film has been praised for its realistic portrayal of Mumbai, its complex characters, and its innovative storytelling. However, some Redditors have criticized the film for its slow pace and lack of a clear plot.

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dhobi Ghat movie worth watching?

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.

Was Dhobi Ghat a hit or flop?

Despite its artistic merit, Dhobi Ghat was considered a flop at the box office, not achieving the desired commercial success.

What is the story of the Dhobi Ghat movie?

The movie revolves around the lives of four individuals interconnected in Mumbai – a washer-man aspiring to become an actor, a banker-turned-photographer, a painter seeking inspiration, and a US return caught in the city’s essence.

Why is Dhobi Ghat famous?

Dhobi Ghat gained recognition for being the location where 496 dhobis washed clothes together, securing a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for “most people hand-washing clothes at a single location.” It serves as a central hub for washing clothes for nearby businesses and individuals.

🔀 Recommended Movie and TV Show

  1. Mumbai Meri Jaan: A 2008 Indian drama film that revolves around the aftermath of the Mumbai train bombings.
  2. Page 3: A 2005 film that explores the lives of people involved in the Mumbai socialite scene.
  3. Black Friday: A 2004 film that depicts the events leading up to and following the 1993 Bombay bombings.

Wallpapers & Media

🔥 Audience Trends

Stats and Audience chart

✨ Discover more titles

✍️ Contribute to this page