Maatr Movie Review: Raveena Tandon Starrer Disappoints on Every Level
Image: Instagram/ Raveena Tandon
Cast: Raveena Tandon, Anurag Arora
Director: Ashtar Sayed
Quentin Tarantino set a benchmark for revenge thriller when he decided to make the series on a woman's vengeance- Kill Bill. With Uma Thurman seeking revenge, the film set a benchmark for stylish crime thriller with a heroine as the central character. Bollywood has started playing on this formula with films like Revolver Rani, Mardaani and now Maatr. Starring Raveena Tandon as the wounded mother seeking revenge for her little girl’s brutal death while fighting the society’s prejudices, Maatr tries to fit in everything in one single plotline, thus ending in a shoddy mess with a meaningful heart.
The film tells the story of a woman who gets gang raped by a group of influential men. Her daughter is also raped and killed by the men. After battling her own fears and facing police’s negligence, she takes the matter in her own hands and thus gives out a very powerful statement - a mother can go to any lengths in order to avenge her children. The film starts on a very mythological note and ends on a symbolic note. Without giving many details, let’s just say that Maatr tries to counter rape issue along with the insensitivity of police towards rape and abuse victims, and the darkness of power that overshadows justice every time.
Talking about the performances, Raveena Tandon is fairly average as a rape survivor and a warrior mother Vidya. There are scenes where her pain becomes real for once, but then it cuts to illogical gym sequences trivialising her sufferings. The diva must have done Nation Award winning worth performances, but Maatr isn’t one of them. Divya Jagdale as Ritu (Vidya’s friend) and Anurag Arora as Inspector Jayant Shroff are again average, with few scenes so cringe-worthy that you just don’t want to hear the monotonous dialogue delivery of the actors. Madhur Mittal as loathing Apurva Malik is the villain of the story and the only above average actor in the film. He makes you hate him from the first scene if that is what the director wanted the audience to feel. The only, truly authentic character in the film is a guard who appears onscreen for 5 mins and reminds you of all your real encounters with these blue shirt wearers.
The film is nearly 30 minutes too long, where the entire first half is spent forcefully making you feel the pain and plight of Vidya, that was established in the first few mins itself. The film’s music is another burden which forces you to roll your eyes whenever the background becomes anything more than the screams of the culprits Vidya kills.
Overall, the film is made with a good intention and shows a mirror to the insensitivity faced by the rape victims by Police (through interrogation) and the society (through judgments), However, what could’ve been an artsy masterpiece in every sense ends up being a series of long eye rolls with clichés and unwanted thrill at wrong places. Trying to fit in all the rage in a 2.5 hours long film turns it into a mess and added miscasting just ruins the fun of the thriller.
Maatr disappoints on many levels despite being a relevant film. A veteran or experienced director would’ve turned it into a masterpiece as it had all the element of a hard-hitting, entertaining crime-drama thriller. We are going with two out of five stars for the intention and content of the film and nothing else.
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