Dhak Dhak Movie Review: Ratna Pathak Shah and Fatima Sana Sheikh have taken this anticipated journey forward with a compelling performance.
A few years ago, the number of adventurous female bikers in the country saw a significant rise. Newspapers celebrated their remarkable past journeys. As time passed and their numbers grew, this trend lost its news value. The makers of “Dhak Dhak” aim to sell a film based on the theme of yesterday, one that entertains in parts but ultimately concludes with a meaningful editorial on women’s empowerment.
Taapsee Pannu’s next high-concept Tamil film is called ‘Alien.’ Staying true to the format of life-changing journeys, director Tarun Dudeja tells us the story of four unlikely women who decide to embark on a challenging journey from Delhi to the treacherous Khardung La pass. For Sassy Sky (Fatima Sana Sheikh), it’s a professional project rooted in personal trauma. Mahi (Ratna Pathak Shah), trapped in the image of her sweet grandmother who cooks delicious food, wants to transform her image. Similarly, Uzma (Dia Mirza) seeks to break free from a husband who only values her existence as a cook, responsible for biryani and phirni.
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Then, an extremely sheltered Manjari (Sanjana Sanghi) wishes to experience the world before marrying the guy she’s seen but not met. While Sky and Mahi’s past stories make sense, it’s a challenge to convince Manjari and Uzma to handle heavy bikes and embark on a life-altering journey. However, we then perceive the journey as a metaphor and set out on a march towards freedom.
Story: The story of four women undertaking a life-changing road trip from Delhi to the world’s highest motorable pass, Khardung La.
For those following the trend of concept-based cinema, it’s easy to anticipate what the screenplay will follow. Amazingly, Dudeja and co-writer Parizad Joshi adopt a predicted path with banners that promote a progressive outlook. The obstacles in the path of brave women seem apparent from a distance. In the second half, emotional elevation comes in some ‘Dhak Dhak’ proportion.
Nonetheless, the journey isn’t clichéd, as capable artists punctuate it with sharp humour and lively commentary on life and relationships that emerge from real experiences. For example, Nani is not just about Morini and may even have a motorcycle, a subtle but sharp comment on breaking cultural ties. Under the spirited leadership of Ratna and Sana, the four naturally connect, and their heartfelt conversations guide this intricate narrative towards empowerment.
“Dhak Dhak” is currently running in theatres.