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MAATR Movie Review: An unconvincing, tacky pretender on womanhood

Director : Ashtar Sayed
Music : Fuzon
Lyrics : S.K. Khalish
Starring : Raveena Tandon, Madhur Mittal, Divya Jagdale, Shailender Goyal, Anurag Arora


April 21, 2017 10:09:30 AM IST
Maatr Review By Vishal Verma, Glamsham Editorial

Kill. Kill.. this is so run of the mill. MAATR - the supposed INSAAF KA TARAZU on the ZAKHMI AURAT's of India due to brutal rape isn't a spit on the genre's grave but it's a tacky LIPSTICK that fails to stick.


MAATR MOVIE POSTER

Starring Raveena Tandon in lead, this pervasively tacky and uneven revenge drama about a brutal gang rape of a mother and her teenage daughter In Delhi just pretends that it has something positive to say on the subject but remains content to be just another film that exploits the horror, trauma of rape victims in the name of womanhood and motherhood for an unconvincing, hurried and struggling piece of escapist cinema.

Writer Michael Pellico (also one of the producer) desires to cash on the heroics of Bollywood naari Shakti (women power) in the ongoing on screen season of women empowerment -ANARKALI OF AARAAAH, NAAM SHABANA, BEGUM JAAN but MAATR lacks the required jaan (power, punch) in this mundane and feeble script that begins with a school teacher of good virtues Vidya Chauhan (Raveena Tandon) and her teenage daughter Tiya (Alisha Khan) falling prey to the chauvinist pervert group of men lead by Apurva Malik (famous for playing the older brother Salim in SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE) son of the powerful state politician. The harrowing incident results in Tiya's death and rejection from Vidya's husband who blames Vidya for taking the wrong route at night and inviting trouble. The dejected, rejected, beaten, bruised and horrified Vidya finds shelter and some solace in her friend Ritu (Divya Jagdale) home.

The PINK and known pot boiler mode sets in as the nexus between the politicians and police is highlighted. Laal batti cop Shroff (Anurag Arora) bows to the pressure and brushes the case under the carpet by arresting a couple of petty criminals. Obviously, it's time for Vidya to give a befitting reply to her molesters and Raveena Tandon to say she is back. But nah, we feel zapped and here are the reasons why.

Director Ashtar Sayed routine narration searches for some thrilling, edge of the seat, inspiring and crowd pleasing moments when Vidya is set to break loose and make life hell for the gang of rapist but here the revengeful mother is nowhere near Zeenat Aman in INSAAF KA TARAZU, Dimple Kapadia in ZAKHMI AURAT, Kajol in DUSHMAN, forget Seema Biswas in BANDIT QUEEN, Camille Keaton in the cult Hollywood classic I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE etc.

It's disturbing to find the maker is able to sensationalize rape but the victim's triumph over her culprits lacks the require impact and the proceedings are so predictable, mediocre that also tests the cinematic liberty one can have and the make believe quotient of the audience.

The writer director are the culprit for not giving the character of Vidya those moments of power and dominance that are so necessary in such format, Vidya's transformation is pale and all is left on the acting abilities of Raveena Tandon to recharge this dying script on women empowerment. Maatr (also means just) a couple of scenes and Raveena Tandon's earnest attempt are the only positives, rest the movie fails to deliver on the other essential fronts.

The villains are cringe caricatures and the climax is a classy example on how to end your film with a tacky two minute instant noodle type of ending that completely lacks imagination and is overwhelmingly simplified.

Raveena Tandon gives whatever she has as an actress and is pious in her role.

From the supporting actors, Madhur Mittal is still okay. Alisha Khan is fine, Divya Jagdale shines, Anurag Arora as the cop is decent, Saheem Khan is fair, Shailender Goel as the politician father is passable.

Production values are good. Technicalities are fair with nothing to shout about. Hari Vendantam's camera is better in capturing those night sequences. Utkarsh Umesh Dhotekar's music is a hindrance. Manoj Magarr editing is routine.

All said and done, MAATR starring Raveena Tandon just pretends to make a social statement about rape and revenge and in reality struggles even to be a routine escapist film that does nothing significant for anyone involved. MAATR (motherhood) is Maatr (just) an addition to the list of Bollywood run of the mill badla saga

Also read | Bollywood Box Office Report Of The Week: 20th April 2017

First Published on: 2017-4-21T10:09:30 AM+00:00