By Dhaval Roy

Story: When four ordinary women go on a motorcycle adventure to the world’s highest drivable pass, Khardung La, they also embark on a journey of self-discovery and identity.

Review: Is it about the destination or the journey? Here’s a motorcycle adventure that proves there’s more to a voyage than these, as on the road, so in life.

Director-writer Tarun Dudeja and co-writer Parijat Joshi kickstart the story on a routinal note, introducing the viewer to its protagonists. Sky (Fatima Sana Shaikh) is a motorcycle reviewer and influencer trying to break her inadvertent scandalous social media image and storm the male bastion to create her own identity. Manpreet, aka Mahi (Ratna Pathak Shah), is a grandma, and Uzma (Dia Mirza) is a homemaker unappreciated by their families. Mathura girl Manjari is set to marry a stranger of her mother’s choice. The rest of the story is about their experiences, misadventures, and equations with each other as they take a transformative trip.

While narrated well, the film’s first half occasionally sputters as it shows biases against female drivers or riders, the lack of safety for women, and how they are taken for granted. However, the narrative switches gears and accelerates the excitement once they are on the road. Cinematographer Sreechith Vijayan Damodar perfectly captures the mountains, whether a smooth ride on the picturesque roads or through the dramatic terrains, landslides, flooding, etc.

Like a true-blue journey, the film portrays characters who teach life lessons through simplicity, delivered through memorable dialogues. A truck driver encourages Manjari to look at problems objectively and says, ‘Apni problem mein tension lena aur doosre ki problem mein solution dena, yeh toh insaan ki fitrat hai. Is liye kabhi khudke padosi ban kar dekho.

Just like while travelling in a real-life, while you are aware of your destination but cannot predict what will happen during the journey, the turn of events in the story is refreshing. The movie also elicits laughter, thanks to Mahi and Manjari’s shenanigans. Rishi Dutta’s soundtrack is upbeat, especially the folk-rock title track Banjara Re.

Ratna Pathak Shah as a loving, shy, and cheeky Punjabi grandma, Fatima Sana Shaikh as a firebrand girl dealing with her demons, Dia Mirza as a jugaadu mechanic with stifled dreams, and Sanjana Sanghi as the klutzy and overprotected simple girl are outstanding in their roles.

The wholesome tale of the four riders on the storm will make one want to giddy up and go on an adventure, whether on the road or following one’s heart. This one is a must-watch for its storytelling and visual appeal, and the dramatic experience can be best enjoyed on the big screen.