DHAK DHAK is a well-intentioned genuine effort laced with some fine performances.

Dhak Dhak Review {2.5/5} & Review Rating

DHAK DHAK is the story of four women bikers. Sky (Fatima Sana Shaikh) is a vlogger specializing in bikes. She breaks up with her boyfriend Shrey (Nishank Verma) after her nude pictures are leaked from his phone. She wants to bag a contract to film the Barcelona Auto Expo. The person in charge, Nishant Kakkar (Hrriday Malhotra), agrees but on one condition – she should create a video series that will emotionally move people. This is when she comes across Manpreet Kaur Sethi aka Mahi (Ratna Pathak Shah). She is in her 60s and rides a motorcycle after she wins the two-wheeler in a contest. Mahi tells Sky that it’s her dream to ride her bike at Khardung La Pass, the highest motorable road in the world. Sky agrees to take her there knowing that this is the story she wants to tell. When both try to get their bike fixed, they bump into Uzma (Dia Mirza). She comes on board as a mechanic. Then they are joined by Manjari (Sanjana Sanghi), a god-fearing vegetarian from Govardhan who lies to her parents that she’s flying to Leh instead of going there by road. All four of them have distinct personalities and the journey is tough and full of obstacles. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Dhak Dhak

Parijat Joshi and Tarun Dudeja’s story is brilliant and waiting to be told. Parijat Joshi and Tarun Dudeja’s screenplay does partial justice to the plot at hand. The characters are beautifully fleshed out and at the same time, they also raise some important issues. However, things don’t get properly established in the second half. Parijat Joshi and Tarun Dudeja’s dialogues (additional dialogues by Anvita Dutt) are simple and some one-liners raise laughs.

Tarun Dudeja’s direction is uncomplicated, despite the flashbacks. He begins the film by establishing that the four ladies have embarked on their biking trip. He then depicts their back stories and it makes for an engaging watch. It is not easy for women travelling alone and this aspect is depicted perfectly. At the same time, not everyone tries to take advantage and this is also taken care of by the beautiful truck driver sequence. Sky’s outburst, the reunion in the pre-climax and the finale are also worth watching.

Sadly, the film is not without its share of blemishes. Nothing much happens in the first hour of the post-interval portion. The four ladies spare Moshe (Benedict Garrett) despite his wrongdoing and this is difficult to digest. The same goes for the sequence when Manjari’s parents allow her to continue her journey on a bike, though they are livid with her. A few aspects like Mahi being ignored by her family and her bond with Prabjyot (Harshpal Singh) are not established well. The conclusion of Uzma’s track is too simplistic. Lastly, it is bewildering how no one from the ashram delivers the oxygen cylinder to a hospitalized Mahi. Agreed that Manjari was not in a position to do so but anyone else should have done the needful, especially when it was a life-and-death situation.

Dhak Dhak – Official Trailer | Ratna Pathak Shah | Dia Mirza | Fatima Sana Shaikh | Sanjana Sanghi

All four leading heroines do a fine job. Fatima Sana Shaikh has the maximum screen time and carries off the role with panache and style. Ratna Pathak Shah as always is a pleasure to watch. Dia Mirza is too good and she underplays her part with panache. Sanjana Sanghi goes a bit overboard in some scenes but otherwise, she puts up a fine act. Nishank Verma lends able support. The same goes for Hrriday Malhotra. Harshpal Singh is there only in the beginning and is okay. Dheerendra Dwivedi (Shabbir; Uzma’s husband) leaves a mark. Kallirroi Tziafeta (Martha; Manjari’s foreign friend) is lovely while Dr Lakha Lehri (Taran; truck driver) is adorable. Ozgur Kurt (Bernett) is too good. Benedict Garrett is forgettable and hams. Poonam Gurung (Kung Fu Nun) is great, but her track doesn’t have the desired impact.

DHAK DHAK has several songs but only ‘Re Banjara’ and ‘Akhiyan Criminal’ get registered. The rest of them like ‘Sadke Sadke’, ‘Woh Tara’, ‘Safar Pe Chale’ and ‘Farzi Duniya’ are forgettable. Anurag Saika’s background score is in sync with the film’s theme.

Sreechith Vijayan Damodar’s cinematography is splendid. The locales of the mountain ranges, especially, are captured beautifully. Nilesh Eknath Wagh’s production design is realistic. Natasha Vohra’s costumes reflect the character’s personalities. The ones worn by Fatima are appealing. Abdul Aziz Khokhar’s action is minimal. Manish Sharma’s editing is slick.

On the whole, DHAK DHAK is a well-intentioned genuine effort laced with some fine performances by the leading ladies. But due to a weak second half and negligible buzz, the film will suffer at the box office.

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