I found the underlying emotion of the movie Dhobi Ghat which makes it appeal surreal. I am damn sure that even the director of the movie did not intend to make it be a part of it. But its there and it makes movie therefore subtle. Its ‘guilt’. All four characters are feeling guilty for something or else all the time. Reason may be apparently not so vivid or even valid. But guilt floats in the movie in almost every major scene. And Santaolalla’s music mixes it very seamlessly with other human emotions.
Not to forget, it is indeed very poetic cinematic expression emphasizing on emotions through description and plain movements. So much so that you start empathizing with the characters to the extent to feel yourself being carried away with them in all situations. Still director has achieved to invoke no drama. Real skill.