Director: Ashtar Sayed
Cast: Raveena Tandon, Madhur Mittal, Alisha Khan, Divya Jagdale, Anurag Arora
‘Neerja’, ‘Akira’, ‘Begum Jaan’, ‘Anaarkali of Aarah’, so many female centric stories in the past one year…and seems like, along with the Indian filmmakers, the audience is ready to see heroic tales of women and ‘Maatr’ is one of them too.
Director Ashtar Sayed’s debut film, ‘Maatr’, is an eye-opener of sorts in today’s misogynistic society where preconceived notions about how women should carry themselves still exist. Starring Raveena Tandon, this film primarily revolves around the menacing issue of gang rape set rightly in the heart of Delhi, an Indian state that is most notorious for abuse against women.
Vidya (Raveena Tandon), a school teacher resides in Delhi with her husband and a young daughter Tia (Alisha Khan). Her marriage is on the rocks but still tries to pacify it for her daughter. Vidya’s life changes upside down when a bunch of local ruffians attack Tia and her, while they were driving back from the latter’s annual function in school. Apurva Malik (Madhur Mittal), a rich spoilt lad and CM’s son, along with his goon gang, rape Vidya and Tia. Soon after, they kill Tia and leave her body on the city highway.
Jayant Shroff (Anurag Arora), a tough cop makes an entry to solve the mystery but he steps back under political pressure. Vidya recovers and decides to seek revenge from Apurva and his gang. Ritu (Divya Jagdale), Vidya’s best friend helps her in this game of justice denied. How Vidya emerges a winner is what ‘Maatr’ all about!
Ashtar Sayed’s directorial debut tracks the journey of a mother seeking revenge for her daughter’s gang rape and subsequent murder. The movie is perhaps a reflection of the society and the upbringing of a huge male population who still look down upon women and treat them as mere sexual objects. For a novice, Ashtar has done a brilliant job. Kudos to writers Michael Pellico and Mishkka Shekhawat for sensitively handling the grieve subject without compromising on the ghastly truth behind these acts of pure evil. The interesting part of the film is that the plot of the film is nothing extraordinary but it is the great performances, gripping subject line and apt execution that makes ‘Maatr’ a must watch.
If you thought you have seen it all from Raveena Tandon, think again. She pumps in so much life into the film that it is her performance that steals the show. Her screen presence, her personality, the way she projects her character, her facial expressions are top notch. Turning your eyes elsewhere will be criminal when she is on screen in the film. Kudos to Madhur Mittal, the antagonist, who makes you feel disgusted throughout, that’s the beauty of his villainous character. Not undermining the efforts of other talents who make the film, as a whole, a very gratifying watch. Divya Jagdale, Anurag Arora, Alisha Khan were too good in their respective roles. They deliver a power packed performance in crucial scenes of the film.
The biggest hiccup of the film is its background score which is abrupt. The sound department should be surely blamed for it. Also, how easily Raveena takes revenge from each and every member of the brat group, even kills the CM of the state despite high security is slightly indigestible but bearable. The film may remind you of Raveena’s earlier films ‘Jaago’ and ‘Daman’ in bits and pieces considering the subject but ‘Maatr’ is a very modern age film. Watching ‘Maatr’ should definitely be on your to-do list this weekend....