Dhak Dhak Review: Ratna Pathak Shah, Fatima Sana Shaikh Film Redefines Women Empowerment Without Getting Preachy!

This was an entertaining ride!
Dhak Dhak Review: Ratna Pathak Shah, Fatima Sana Shaikh Film Redefines Women Empowerment Without Getting Preachy!
hauterrfly Rating: 3.5 / 5

Movies are a good medium to talk about problems, taboos and stereotypes related to women. Lately, we have seen many such female-led movies being produced in the Hindi film industry. However, there are a few of them that turn out to be hard-hitting. The message in most films either gets lost in the attempt to make it a light-hearted watch or other times there is no fresh perspective shown through the characters. For a change, after a long time, I felt Tarun Dudeja’s film Dhak Dhak turns out to be rather a crisp take on the different ideas of women empowerment, patriarchy and feminism, and not to forget, all these without being preachy! Starring Fatima Sana Shaikh, Ratna Pathak Shah, Dia Mirza and Sanjana Sanghi in lead roles, the story of Dhak Dhak is about four women like you and me who have just one thing in common and that is their love for riding bikes! In the running time of approximately 2 hours 30 minutes, the film shows the 4 lead characters’ taking a trip to the highest motorable pass on a bike and how the journey eventually becomes a life-changing experience for each one of them! Dhak Dhak is produced by Viacom 18 and Taapsee Pannu’s Outsider Films, and here’s what we think of it!


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Dhak Dhak Characters!

Fatima Sana Shaikh as Sky is seen in the role of a YouTuber who is passionate about bikes. She dreams of attending the Barcelona Bike Expo and sees it as the only chance to boost her identity as a YouTuber! Ratna Pathak Shah as Manpreet Singh Sethi is an old woman whose identity in life is just reduced to that of “Naani” “Mother In Law” or “Mother.” However, after winning a bike in a random lottery competition, she discovers her love for riding bikes and the independence that comes with it. Dia Mirza plays Uzma, a young woman trained as a mechanic but suffocates in the shackles of an unhappy marriage but the only relief there is her daughter, Zoya. Well, Last but not least, Sanjana Sanghi is Manjari, a naive young girl who is a resident of Mathura and struggles to lead a life without the power of making her own decisions, well, even when it is about her own wedding. All four characters connect with each other only because of their talent as female bikers, however, each of their reason for taking a journey to the highest motorable pass Khardung La is different!


In the first of the film Dhak Dhak, we are given a back story on the life of each character. With their profession and identity, the audience also gets to know about the major fears, weaknesses and some dark truths about their lives. Among the 4, it is Manpreet Singh Sethi’s (Ratna Pathak Shah) wish or rather dream to take a trip to Khardunga La, on a bike, because it is a holy place for all the bikers! Like a pilgrimage, you know! Well, it is Sky (Fatima Sana Shaikh) who eventually forms the team of four women and plans a 7-day trip to Khardung La. However, during this 7-day journey to the highest motorable pass, the four women learn and discover many realities of life, overcome their hidden fears, discover solutions to their life problems and have some meaningful conversations as women!


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The Strengths!

The biggest strength of this Tarun Dudeja directorial Dhak Dhak is that the film sheds light on different problems faced by women in a patriarchal society but focuses more on finding answers than highlighting the issues. In the first half of the film, Dhak Dhak gives a background story to all 4 characters and very efficiently makes the audience understand where each of them comes from! What I loved the most about the film was the way in which it gives perspectives to different life problems, human dilemmas and unanswered questions that all of us will find relatable to as women! Like, marriage is a good choice or not? Talking about feminism, the film beautifully shows how the four female characters empower themselves by embarking on a bike journey to Khardung La. But these realisations happen in small moments and random events. For instance, a heartfelt conversation between the characters about the struggles in a woman’s life leaves you either with a big smile or in tears. Dhak Dhak also becomes a pleasant watch when these characters have interactions with the strangers on their way only to realise how their life stories and perspectives can make a huge change in their lives too. Tarun Dudeja’s film incorporates scenes to talk about female orgasm, the idea of love marriage and arranged marriage from a woman’s perspective, the problem of online trolling and the appalling mindset of sexualising a woman’s body and each of them is impactful in its own way! An entire film on female pleasure like Thank You For Coming failed to make the point that the four female leads were effortlessly able to present during a casual hilarious chat with each other! Tarun Dudeja’s vision as a director was evident in the film. The way his film touches upon each topic related to women and that too with a fresh take is worth watching. The writing and direction by Tarun Dudeja make the experience of watching Dhak Dhak memorable! Dhak Dhak’s title track Re Banjara by Sunidhi Chauhan is quite powerful and fits well in the film too!

Perfect Performances!

Ratna Pathak Shah, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Dia Mirza and Sanjana Sanghi will make each woman hear their heart’s “Dhak Dhak” with their nuanced performance! Each actress brings individuality to her character and creates a separate place for themselves in the audience’s mind and heart during the film. While Ratna Pathak Shah’s fun, optimistic and natural acting steals the show, Dia Mirza, Fatima Shaikh and Sanjana Sanghi’s exceptional work made characters stand out. The actresses add a reliability factor to their characters and leave a strong impact during emotional scenes, and at the end of the film, you genuinely feel empowered as a woman to look for solutions instead of focusing on the problems!

Also Read: Dia Mirza Hails Dhak Dhak Director Tarun Dudeja As The Best Ally For Women, Says “I Waited 23 Years To Be…”



Well, the running time of Dhak Dhak was the only drawback of the film because the audience might find it a little too lengthy. It is also sad that the film was not promoted the way it should have been. Such a nice film on women’s empowerment deserves attention from the audience but the lack of promotions is quite disappointing.

Also Read: Dhak Dhak Trailer: Ratna Pathak Shah, Fatima Sana Shaikh’s Road Film Goes Full Throttle On Girl Power And Feels!


Ratna Pathak Shak, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Dia Mirza and Sanjana Sanghi starrer Dhak Dhak is a much-needed film on women empowerment that should be watched for its engaging storyline, refreshing characters and stellar performances by the cast. Despite the long running time, Dhak Dhak keeps the audience entertained and invested! It releases on October 13, in theatres and ladies, do go watch it!

Why Did Taapsee Pannu Remove All Posts On Ratna Pathak Shah Starrer Dhak Dhak From Social Media? All We Know

Pragya Dubey

Pragya Dubey is an introvert who prefers expressing herself through words. She believes in logical arguments and watches thrillers to escape the mundane realities of life!

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