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Age-old saga about women’s empowerment 

Dhak Dhak2023★★☆☆☆2/5Director:Tarun DudejaCast:Ratna Pathak Shah, Dia Mirza, Sanjana Sanghi, Fatima Sana Shaikh

Tarun Dudeja’s ‘Dhak Dhak’ is the tale of four women from different walks of life, who set out on a bike trip to the highest motorable road in India — Khardung La in Leh.

The unlikely quartet comprises of Mahi (Ratna Pathak Shah), an older woman grappling with loneliness, Manjari (Sanjana Sanghi) a sheltered youngster on the brink of getting married, Sky (Fatima Sana Shaikh), a social media influencer, and Uzma (Dia Mirza), a married Muslim woman.

The last we saw of Dia Mirza, she played a Muslim woman in ‘Made In Heaven’, caught under the clutches of an uncaring husband. Surprisingly, her portrayal in the ‘Dhak Dhak’ is strangely similar, inciting a yawn or two along the way. However, the heart of the movie lies in the character of Mahi, who Ratna embodies with perfection.

The first half of the movie covers the backstories of each character, the real journey begins in the second half. As the group sets out on the perilous journey, they come across various characters who act as vessels of wisdom — there’s a Sikh truck driver, a female Buddhist monk, a solo traveler, a widowed cook, a soldier and a road construction worker. These characters represent patches of sharp writing.

While ‘Dhak Dhak’ has nothing groundbreaking to offer, it does present the audience with a heartwarming story. Along the way, it becomes a movie about women overcoming their past traumas, as they try to figure out the answer to the age old question, what matters more, the journey or the destination?

(Published 13 October 2023, 23:43 IST)

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