Directed by Tarun Dudeja, “Dhak Dhak” embarks upon the winding roads of Leh and Ladakh, narrating the powerful journey of four women – Ratna Pathak Shah, Dia Mirza, Fatima Sana Shaikh, and Sanjana Sanghi. Each bringing to the film their own stories, struggles, and dreams, they paint a tapestry of female camaraderie and resilience.
The journey unfolds as Sky (Fatima Sana Shaikh), an ambitious vlogger, finds inspiration in the passionate biker, Mahi (Ratna Pathak Shah), an older woman with a zest for life and a dream of conquering Khardung La. Their paths intertwine, leading to a voyage not just through picturesque landscapes but also through the contours of their very souls. Joining them are Uzma (Dia Mirza), a mechanic with suppressed aspirations, and Manjiri (Sanjana Sanghi), a young woman trying to navigate the strictures of her traditional upbringing.
The film doesn’t shy away from showcasing the many challenges women face, from societal expectations to personal insecurities. But amidst the trials, the ladies discover their own strengths, relying on one another in moments of doubt and celebrating their shared victories.
Dudeja’s clever writing is accentuated with moments of humor, self-awareness, and deep introspection. Whether it’s a subtle nod to Bollywood or a contemplation of privilege against the breathtaking backdrop of Leh, “Dhak Dhak” encourages viewers to delve deeper and find meaning beyond the obvious.
The performances are stellar, with Ratna Pathak Shah displaying a range of emotions that tug at the heartstrings. Fatima brings depth to Sky, portraying both her vulnerabilities and strengths with finesse. Dia Mirza’s charm complements Sanjana Sanghi’s conviction, making the ensemble cast a treat to watch.
Yet, it’s not just about the characters’ individual journeys. The movie emphasizes that life’s true essence often lies in the moments shared with others – in laughter, understanding, acceptance, and mutual support. While the film could have taken more assertive stances on certain subjects, it succeeds in delivering a heartwarming narrative of self-discovery and friendship.
In essence, “Dhak Dhak” is more than just a road-trip movie. It’s a testament to women’s strength, the beauty of friendships, and the liberating power of journeys – both external and internal.