Dhak Dhak Movie Review: Ratna Pathak Shah Is The Best Thing In This Road Trip Comedy That Runs Out of Gas

Dhak Dhak is a 2023 Hindi comedy-drama film directed by Tarun Dudeja and starring Fatima Sana Shaikh, Ratna Pathak Shah, Dia Mirza, and Sanjana Sanghi. The film follows the adventures of four women who embark on a motorcycle trip to Ladakh, where they face various challenges and discover themselves. The film is a celebration of womanhood, friendship, adventure, and freedom, but also suffers from some flaws in its plot, characterization, and execution.

(Also read: Thank You For Coming Movie Review: Bhumi Pednekar Shines In A Refreshing and Enlightening Sex Comedy)

Dhak Dhak: Plot

Dhak Dhak is a movie about four women who go on a motorcycle adventure to the world’s highest drivable pass, Khardung La, in Ladakh. Along the way, they face various challenges and discover themselves and their true desires. The movie follows the journey of Sky (Fatima Sana Shaikh), a motorcycle reviewer and influencer who wants to break free from her scandalous image and create her own identity; Mahi (Ratna Pathak Shah), a grandmother who feels neglected by her family and wants to relive her youth; Uzma (Dia Mirza), a homemaker who is unhappy with her marriage and wants to pursue her passion for mechanics; and Manjari (Sanjana Sanghi), a naive girl from Mathura who is about to marry a stranger of her mother’s choice and wants to explore the world.

Dhak Dhak: Performances

The movie boasts of an impressive cast of talented actors who deliver convincing and engaging performances. Ratna Pathak Shah is the highlight of the movie, as she portrays a lovable, cheeky, and adventurous Punjabi grandma with aplomb. She brings a lot of humor and warmth to the movie, and shares a great chemistry with Fatima Sana Shaikh.

Fatima Sana Shaikh is also impressive as Sky, a firebrand girl who struggles with her inner demons and insecurities. She shows a range of emotions and expressions, and rides the bike with confidence and style.

Dia Mirza is effective as Uzma, a jugaadu mechanic who has a knack for fixing things and finding solutions. She portrays the frustration and resentment of a woman who is trapped in an unhappy marriage with subtlety and grace. Sanjana Sanghi is adorable as Manjari, a klutzy and overprotected simple girl who has a lot of curiosity and innocence. She adds a lot of charm and sweetness to the movie, and also shows some growth and maturity as the story progresses.

Dhak Dhak: Analysis

Dhak Dhak is a movie that celebrates womanhood, friendship, adventure, and freedom. It explores the themes of identity, empowerment, choice, and happiness through the lens of four ordinary women who embark on an extraordinary journey. The movie has a lot of positive messages and inspiring moments that resonate with the audience. The movie also showcases the beauty and diversity of India, as the four women travel through different states, cultures, landscapes, and people.

The cinematography by Sreechith Vijayan Damodar is stunning, as he captures the scenic vistas of Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi with finesse. The soundtrack by Rishi Dutta is upbeat and catchy, especially the folk-rock title track Banjara Re.

However, the movie is not without its flaws. The movie suffers from a slow and predictable first half, where it introduces the characters and their backgrounds in a cliched and stereotypical manner. The movie also relies on some unrealistic and convenient plot devices to move the story forward, such as coincidences, accidents, miracles, etc. The movie also fails to explore some of the deeper issues that the characters face, such as sexism, patriarchy, violence, etc., in a nuanced and meaningful way. The movie also ends on a rather abrupt and ambiguous note, leaving some questions unanswered.

The film is unnecessarily stretchy at a lot of points, a sharp editing and a stronger screenplay could’ve helped.

Dhak Dhak: Verdict

Dhak Dhak is a movie that tries to be a fun-filled and heartwarming road trip comedy-drama with a feminist twist. It succeeds in some aspects, but falls short in others. The movie has some memorable performances, beautiful visuals, catchy music, and positive messages, but also has some dull moments, unrealistic scenarios, unnecessary length, shallow treatment of issues, and an unsatisfying ending. The movie is worth watching for its cast and its spirit, but don’t expect too much from it.

Dhak Dhak: Rating

Critics rating: 2/5

Box office rating: 0.5/5

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