"The Anand Kumar story can take these stylistic flourishes because it goes beyond the usual underdog story. You may feel the Lallan Singh character is too much of a 'villain,' but at the end, a note tells us that the real-life Anand Kumar is still receiving death threats. Al.. moreso, the emotional temperature is higher because Anand is no outsider (like, say, the protagonist of Swades). He knows what these kids are like, how deep their dreams are, because he was one of them. He was thrown out of the BHU library where he wanted to read foreign mathematics journals. He couldn’t go to Cambridge because he couldn’t afford it, and later, he took to selling papad on the streets to make money. He meets Lallan when his bicycle is knocked off the road by the latter’s car, but instead of confronting Lallan, he begins to pick up the notes and coins that have spilled on the roadside. That comes first. The scene (and Hrithik’s unwavering concentration on the money) makes us feel Anand’s abject poverty that no lines of dialogue could."
"Rao isn’t telling. If there are Big Thesis Points embedded in Dhobi Ghat, she’s leaving the unearthing to others. And like Sofia Coppola, she’s more interested in sweating the small stuff, sculpting the here and now. She’s not after what happens but how – the grad.. moreual unfolding of scenelets in a manner that’s sensual and rarely sentimental. There’s so much mood in the frames, so much compassion and feeling, that the awkward plot points are swept away like Yasmin’s writings on the sands of the sea."