In the realm of Indian cinema, the year 2023 witnessed the emergence of a cinematic gem, “Dhak Dhak.” This Hindi-language road adventure drama, written and directed by Tarun Dudeja and produced by a stellar team including Ajit Andhare, Kevin Vaz, Pranjal Khandhdiya, and Taapsee Pannu under the banner of BLM Pictures, Outsider Flims Productions, and Viacom18 Studios, is a compelling narrative that delves into the lives of women, their choices, and the profound impacts these decisions carry.
It stars Ratna Pathak, Dia Mirza, Fatima and Sanjana
Released on October 13, 2023, Dhak Dhak revolves around the life of a resilient lady skater and YouTuber. The movie commences with her bold act of recording a group of men driving in Connaught Place (CP), later in the when the story unfolds we learn her intimate photos were leaked online, leading to relentless trolling. Amidst the chaos, she decides to break ties with her partner, who doubles as her business collaborator. Determined to be known for her achievements rather than the unfortunate incident, she grapples with depression.
The narrative takes a poignant turn when she encounters a spirited 60-year-old woman who wins a bike in a lucky draw. The elderly lady, a surprising source of inspiration, decides to learn to ride the bike with the ultimate goal of conquering Khardungla Pass, renowned as the biker’s Tirath for being the highest motorable road. Initially hesitant, the biker-skater, known as Sky, eventually agrees to join the journey. Their company expands with the inclusion of a skilled on-road mechanic who lacks a driving license, a symbol of the challenges women face in unconventional professions. Another member, a Krishna follower, fabricates a tale to be a part of the all-ladies biking adventure.
As these diverse women embark on their motorcycle journey, the film unfolds with subtle nuances, showcasing the intricacies of each character and the transformative power of their experiences.
Realism and Feminism:
Dhak Dhak distinguishes itself by avoiding the trap of sensationalism. It refrains from portraying an overwhelmingly idealized world and instead opts for a balanced portrayal of the good and bad within every human being. The movie’s strength lies in its refusal to succumb to exaggerated ambition or the glorification of a superwoman syndrome. Rather, it tastefully touches upon various aspects of feminism, addressing topics such as remarriage, marriage, mental health, and financial independence.
One of the film’s positive attributes is its portrayal of humanity, transcending gender boundaries. It carefully depicts how both men and women can be simultaneously helpful and problematic. In a refreshing departure from some films that paint all men as antagonists, Dhak Dhak acknowledges the reality that genuine support can come from unexpected quarters. The narrative unfolds organically, presenting a realistic perspective on women achieving their goals without diminishing the collaborative efforts that make success possible.
Unlike films that tend to oversimplify the narrative, Dhak Dhak offers a nuanced exploration of the challenges faced by women. It doesn’t solely focus on showcasing women as lone warriors conquering the world independently.
Instead, it portrays the reality where men and women coexist, sometimes harmoniously and at other times, with friction. This approach contributes to the authenticity of the storyline, making it more relatable to a diverse audience.
The on-road mechanic’s character serves as a prime example. A woman who owns a motor repair company, she faces societal norms that question her competence. Her husband, who manages the store, embodies the ignorant masculine figurehead, highlighting the struggles women endure in male-dominated professions. The film doesn’t shy away from depicting these challenges, but it also showcases moments of empathy and understanding, breaking stereotypes and promoting a more inclusive perspective.
Dhak Dhak stands as a testament to the power of storytelling when it intertwines realism with aspiration. By steering clear of exaggerated narratives and embracing the complexities of human relationships, the film resonates with audiences on a deeper level.
Its portrayal of feminism goes beyond the superficial, offering a refreshing take on women’s journeys and the societal dynamics they navigate. As the characters traverse the challenging terrains till Khardungla Pass, they not only conquer geographical heights but also triumph over societal norms, leaving an indelible mark on the cinematic landscape.