Dhak Dhak (2023)

Dhak Dhak (2023)

Four women ride in this pleasant, though obviously sponsored, motorbike trip to Khardung La

6.2

Movie

India
Hindi
Drama
2023
TARUN DUDEJA
Dia Mirza, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Kallirroi Tziafeta
140 min

TLDR

It’s okay, but it’s hard to keep focus when the film really wants you to buy a motorbike right now.

What it's about

Four women, Sky, Mahi, Uzma, and Manjari, set out on their motorcycles for a road trip to Khardung La, one of the highest motorable mountain passes in the world.

The take

Sometimes, to get to know one’s self, one has to get out of their usual life. This is what makes the idea of travel so alluring, and Dhak Dhak is one such movie that portrays that idea, with some twists. Instead of a car, four women ride with motorcycles, and instead of flat plains, the leads go through one of the highest mountain passes in the world. That being said, we don’t really get to know the women beyond the common issues that women in India go through. The cast tries to make the best of it, and Sanjana Sanghi, Dia Mirza, Fatima Sana Shaikh, and Ratna Pathak Shah portray their characters excellently, but instead of learning who they are, we mostly receive more product placement instead. It’s still a pleasant ride, though Dhak Dhak takes predictable and well-trodden routes in their approach.

What stands out

With four women at the forefront of the film, Dhak Dhak aims for a fun road trip with a feminist angle. Women can and should travel on motorbikes, if they want to. Individually, their stories would be familiar to women at different points in their lives. Manjari’s shelteredness, Mahi’s experience of ageism, Uzma’s need for financial control, and Sky’s leak allows us to empathize with the women and hope that this ride would allow them some relief. That being said, the film never delves deep into these stories, as the ride doesn’t directly address their personal issues. In fact, Sky’s story shows that the film doesn’t really aim for a feminist message, as the ride (and the film) mainly happens through product placement. It’s still a fun ride with relatable characters, though at the end of the day, Dhak Dhak was mainly created to advertise Hindustan Motorcycles to women.

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