•      Fri Dec 1 2023

Dhak Dhak: Four biker women take on a road trip that excites

Sometimes in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself’. Dhak Dhak ends on this beautiful note, and it somewhat sums up what the film stands for. Four women embark on a bike trip from Delhi to Leh, and with their mean machines roaring loud, they must reach world’s highest peak, Khardung La.

What makes the journey even more exciting is how these four women from different backgrounds bond on common grounds, and discover themselves and their strengths, while crossing one obstacle after another. Along the journey, they laugh, enjoy, break down, rise again and ride vigorously towards their dream.

With its heart at the right place and a well-meaning plot, Dhak Dhak attempts to empower you, entertain you and keeps you excited. It is not at all devoid of the thrills and frills that you would expect to see in a road trip movie. Director Tarun Dudeja wastes no time in weaving subplots to make us meet his leading ladies.

The story starts with Shashi Kumar Yadav aka Sky (Fatima Sana Shaikh), a YouTuber, who with her penchant for bikes and travel photography, wants to reset her identity that got tarnished after an ugly online scandal. Covering the Barcelona auto expo on her channel is the next big thing on her list, but she first needs to prove herself to secure that spot.

Searching for a story, Sky meets Manpreet Kaur Sethi aka Mahi (Ratna Pathak Shah), who had just won a bike by collecting newspaper coupons, and in no time, nurtured a dream to one day go on a bike trip to one of the world’s highest motorable roads. Upon realising that only Sky can help her turn this dream into a reality, Mahi gets aboard the idea of this dangerous bike trip.

Joining the duo on this trip next is automobile mechanic Uzma (Dia Mirza), who couldn’t have asked for a better chance in life to show to her husband that she, too, deserves to follow her aspirations. Lastly, when an extremely guarded Manjari (Sanjana Sanghi), who has been pressured by her single mother to settle for an arranged marriage without even meeting her to-be-groom, sees an opportunity to live her life one last time, she laps it up without any second thoughts.

At 2 hours 17 minutes, the film could have been edited a bit more crisply. It slows down quite often, and especially in the second half, gets a tad stretched. Despite that flaws, the conviction and determination that these four actors showcase just lifts up the whole story. Sure it could have had more depth and grip on the narrative, but for most part, Dhak Dhak succeeds in keeping you invested in each of these four tales.

The performances are earnest

Ratna, a seasoned performer, brings her experience and finesse, and as a matriarch of a Punjabi family, she is so endearing and a delight to watch. The way she keeps the quartet together fills your heart with joy, giving you hope that age is never a hindrance, if you decide to live your dreams.

(Source: Hindustan Times)