We love you.
Your name has become synonymous with quality Hindi cinema.
We love you as an Actor.
And, in Dhobi Ghat, once again you were quite believable as Arun, the introvert artist with a troubled past. Your awkwardness in the art show, your difficulty in dealing with Shai the morning after, your look at Vatsala when you hear about the exhibition in Sydney, your increasing involvement as you watch Yasmin’s three video letters, your assured hand as the artist, and your reaction to Yasmin’s last letter are all outstanding. In particular, your portrayal of an introvert is in such great contrast to Munna’s naivete and shyness.
We love you as a Producer.
Once again, you produced an authentic, poignant and outstanding film.
We love you too.
Initially, we weren’t sure what to make of you. It wasn’t that difficult to think of you as a gold-digger or a home-wrecker.
It didn’t feel that much better when we heard you were directing a film to be produced by your husband. Even smart men can’t resist indulging their second wives, we thought.
But, we have to give it to you.
You wrote and directed a beautiful film, a film that seems to have been made in your own terms.
Your casting was faultless; the technical crew you assembled is fabulous.
Whether it was the handicam or the steadycam, broad vistas or tight spaces, you and your cinematographer Tushar Kanti Ray, showed us Bombay as a real, live city with its various moods where your lead characters really came alive. Gustavo Santaolalla, until I found his name in the credits on IMDB, fooled me into thinking that he is a Mumbaikar. Your editor, Nishant Radhakrishnan, made sure that all the stories came together seamlessly, maintaining good tempo with minimal confusion from the multiple story tracks.
You wrote a good script and directed well. Now Mumbai, after a long time, has again a film that can be considered its own.
Your leads, the introvert painter, the shy but ambitious boy, the liberal, liberated, generous young woman with a crush, and the innocent UP girl enthralled with the new city, are all interesting people. You tell their stories well. You don’t dramatize their back-stories even as you make them more complete. You made us feel their excitement, their exhilaration and their highs and lows. Even the minor characters came alive; I was particularly impressed by Salim’s gangbanger strut as he patters with Munna under the bridge.
I must tell you, however, that there were times when the relationship between Shai and Munna reminded me of Tabu and Manoj Bajpai in Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar, and that the videocam letters reminded me of Love Sex and Dhoka and its various predecessors.
We won’t say that you made an outstanding film for a debutant. You made an outstanding film. Period.
Prateik, Monica Dogra and Kriti Malhotra.
Where have you been hiding?
You are all fabulous. It was quite a casting coup by Kiran Rao.
Prateik: Your mother, the late lamented Smita Patil, would be proud of you. I don’t know if it was meant as homage or not, but I was reminded of your mother in Chakra during the scene where you were taking a bath outdoors. Your portrayal of Munna in all his naivete, innocent ambition, defiance, regret and relief, is excellent.
Monica: It was hard to believe that this is your first film. You were very assured and sure-footed as Shai, a role with enough complexity. Loved your smile.
Kriti: Despite your short time on-camera, you really touched us as Yasmin with your portrayal of innocence, enthusiasm, pain and love.
We wish you all great future!
Regards — V Chowdary Jampala
వి. చౌదరి జంపాల