Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and half stars)
Star Cast: Madhur Mittal, Raveena Tandon, Alisha Khan
Director: Ashtar Sayed
What’s Good: Raveena Tandon’s attempt to give an emotionally charged performance.
What’s Bad: The script of Maatr is too cliched. It’s a revenge drama with a poor screenplay.
Loo Break: You could use one!
Watch or Not?: Maatr starts off well but soon turns into a typical revenge drama that is unintelligent. In terms of social commentary, the film has no takeways thanks to its cinematic approach. This is not a must-watch.
Vidya Chauhan (Raveena Tandon) is a school teacher based in Delhi. After getting late at her daughter, Tia’s annual function, Vidya is driving home with her daughter. To avoid a traffic jam, she takes a different route and is further hit by a car that’s been following her.
Vidya and her daughter get gang raped by a bunch of boys, who are led by the CM’s son, Apurva Malik (Madhur Mittal). Her daughter dies in this mishap and husband blames her for it. In an already strained relationship, Vidya separates from her husband who turns out to be an unsupportive prick.
Officer on the case, Shroff (Anurag Arora) tries his best to close the matter after Vidya confesses in her statement of culprits being the CM’s son and his friends.
After losing her faith in the law, Vidya starts to plot revenge in her own manner.
Maatr Review: Script Analysis
In the recent wake of films dealing with violence against women, Maatr is yet another addition. While one of the most celebrated films in recent times, on the subject, Pink dealt with victim-shaming and society’s role in it, Maatr comes across as a mere revenge drama, a tale of a mother’s vengeance.
The problem with Maatr is that it manages to maintain the emotional impact only for a certain time. Once the film goes onto the ‘badla’ phase, it pretty much surprises you with its stupidity. In general too, there are loopholes in the script such as the news channel reporting about the gang-rape reveals the victim’s details. Also, there is no sign of a lady police when Vidya is in the hospital neither in the police station. It also seems unreal how a woman who has been raped by 7 people, comes out of trauma without any counseling and starts to plot revenge. Forget about killing the culprits, her stepping out in Delhi streets itself seems too hard to believe.
Once again, there’s the political-police nexus shown, which keeps pulling the chances of Vidya getting justice down.
In one of the scenes, the CM is seen asking his son, “Ek aurat ye sab kar sakti hai?” And of course we soon see him getting scared at the mere sight of her.
Another issue with the script here is that while the victim is in constant focus, there’s never an effort to tap into the culprit’s mind. Also, how foolishly, Apurv is shown to be consuming drugs and sleeping with women all the time and the only conversations that revolve around his friends are about sex.
There’s also a sub-plot involving Tia’s class-mate, which makes more sense than the rest of the film.
Overall, Maatr joins the list of films, where women seek justice on their own terms because judiciary has no time or morality thanks to corruption.
At times I wonder what our cinema is propagating? Is it time women start seeking justice by killing people who harm them?
Maatr Review: Star Performance
Maatr is being touted to be Raveena Tandon’s comeback. In the past we have seen her pull off powerful roles in films like Satta, Jaago etc. In Maatr, she does a good job despite the poor screenplay.
Anurag Arora, the officer on case is fairly decent in his act.
Madhur Mittal as the lead antagonist seems too carricaturish because of poor writing. The Slumdog Millionaire star does an average job.
Rushad Rana plays the husband and has a limited role in the film.
Maatr Review: Direction, Music
Maatr as the name suggests, is the story of a mother’s revenge. What’s sad is that, the film hardly has anything new to offer.
Director Ashtar Sayad, ably handles certain scenes in the film. The rape incident, has been shot with much thought, without being too sensationalized for impact. It hits you emotionally and Vidya’s struggle post it is certainly emotionally charging. In one of the scenes, Vidya gets paranoid to get into a lift having two men after all the trauma she’s been through and it has been captured well.
While at first, Vidya’s character tries to make the deaths of her perpetrators look accidental, towards the end and mainly the lead villain, her plans look too amateurish.
The climax is highly over-stretched and comes across as completely far fetched.
There are also a few scenes where the transition from one scene to another is not smooth, this and also some other places seem to have an editing issue.
There is one song that has been used twice in the film and honestly speaking, the makers could have easily done without it. Apart from that, the background score too is not good enough.
Although, one has to agree, how much ever the script fails this film, there is a certain level of satisfaction you feel when Vidya’s hunting down the culprits and that’s where you connect to the film the most.
Maatr Review: The Last Word
Maatr doesn’t wow you because of the story’s repetitive nature. Thanks to Raveena Tandon’s balanced act, the film makes up for an average watch. A 2.5/5 for this film.
Maatr releases on 21st April, 2017.
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