Mumbai Diaries (2010): Kiran Rao's Treat for the Eclectic Viewers

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review 

By Murtaza Ali

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews 
dhobi ghat, mumbai diaries, directed by Kiran Rao

Mumbai Diaries (Dhobi Ghat) is a 2010 motion picture written and directed by Mrs. Kiran Rao that borders on the line that separates the Commercial and the Offbeat Indian CinemaCinema is a way of life: for some it is a mere mode of indulgence, while for others it is a profound medium to satiate the intellect. While some call movie-making an art, others think of it as an exact science. The commercialization and technical advances in Cinema have taken it a long way in becoming ubiquitous, while the attributes that make it art have inexplicably taken a back seat. In fact, Cinema today has become a mere instrument to generate revenue. This unfortunate transformation has made people forget the true purpose and meaning of Cinema. 

Prateik Babbar and Monica Dogra in Mumbai Diaries
Prateik Babbar and Monica Dogra in Mumbai Diaries
Sadly, Indian Cinema has suffered the worst at the hands of this onslaught of commercialization. Amidst the perpetual drought, it seldom happens that someone, against all odds, tries to go back to the matrices in order to resuscitate the fading spirit of traditional Cinema. Mumbai Diaries serves to be one such honest attempt amidst the hullabaloo created by the likes of 'Munni' and 'Shiela'. While Mumbai Diaries serves no promise of becoming a prototype in Indian Art Cinema, it is bound to serve a respite to the global clan of eclectic movie viewers.

mumbai diaries, dhobi ghat
aamir khan as arun, mumbai diaries, dhobi ghatMrs. Rao holds on to her promise by managing to leave some artistic impressions in her directorial debut. The plot consists of a mesh of complex and eccentric characters: a female investment banker on a sabbatical with interest in photography: Shai; a divorcée and a reclusive artist: Arun; an estranged housewife: Yasmin; and a washer-man who aspires to be an actor: Munna. Their solitary lives get inexplicably entwined culminating in scenarios far more complex than any of them had ever imagined. Shai and Arun meet at a party and spend a night together… Is there more than what meets the eye? There is something between Shai and Munna… Is it empathy, infatuation or something else? Arun vicariously retraces Yasmeen's life… Is it just curiosity or something more? Mumbai Diaries as a movie poses dozen or more such questions and while some of them are deliberately left unanswered the movie definitely succeeds in refreshing, puzzling, amusing and inspiring the viewer, which most of the contemporary Indian movies fail to achieve. 

aamir khan in mumbai diaries, dhobi ghat
Aamir Khan as Arun in Mumbai Diaries
Aamir Khan gives yet another solid performance as Arun, and he is well supported by the rest of the cast with a special mention of Prateik Babbar and Monica Dogra. Mumbai Diaries can be a great learning experience to the students of Cinema, and to all those budding movie makers who have the tenacity to experiment. Mumbai Diaries can also be a great means for cineastes to get acquainted with the contemporary Indian Cinema as well as the great city of Mumbai. 8/10

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your feedback is highly appreciated!  

For more information on the title, please click on the following links:

Mumbai Diaries Trailer

People who liked this also liked...
Share on Google Plus


  1. Well done Murtaza, and thank you very much for the link!

    I did enjoy the unique look and feel of this film, and although I was not entirely convinced about the acting skills of Prateik Babbar or Monica Dogra, I felt there was a genuine chemistry between the actors.

    PS. You might want to adjust the line spacing in the last couple of paragraphs because the text is a bit cramped and difficult to read.

  2. Thanks Bonjour... the pleasure is all mine!

    I really loved your review of Mumbai Diaries, and was indeed geared up by it (it had brought back some memories of last year). Also, I wanted to recommend two movies from Indian Cinema that you might find interesting: 
    Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2003) and Mithya (2008).PS. Thanks for pointing out the issue with line spacing. I will try to fix it asap.

  3. Thanks, I will try to locate those films.


Thanks for sharing for valuable opinion. We would be delighted to have you back.