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‘Maatr’ movie review: Raveena Tandon’s voyage of revenge fails to create right impact

Directed By: Asthar Sayed
Produced By: Anjum Rizvi
Cast: Raveena Tandon
Duration: 2 hours
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 2.5/5

After 14 long years, Raveena Tandon is back with a revenge flick that promises to be uncompromisingly hard-hitting.  However, ‘Maatr’ has become a revenge saga, too easy to assimilate.

Raveena Tandon aka Vidya Chauhan and her daughter Tia (Alisha Khan) meet with a tragic event as one night, they’re hunted down the dark streets of Delhi and brutally gangraped. One of the culprits is Apurva Malik (Madhur Mittal), son of Delhi’s Chief Minister. Quite predictably, he uses his own influence and the rapists fly free. On the other hand, just when a devastated Vidya is grieving her daughter’s death and coping with her own bruised body and soul, her marriage with husband Ravi (Rushad Rana) trembles. The crumbling marriage was just surviving on one thin bond; their daughter. With Tia leaving this world, the string is broken. Disheartened but refusing to give up, Vidya sets off on a mission to seek justice for herself by putting an end to the culprits’ lives.

Maatr’ does not come out as effective as it could be, but the performers are surely not be blamed. Raveena is fairly good. In last one and a half decade, the pattern of filming has witnessed a thousand changes and evolved through numerous small advancements. She should be credited for coping with that. Rushad Rana, though he has a brief character, is decent. We liked Madhur Mittal’s badass avatar. The major hiccup, however, is the script.

It has to be acknowledged that rapes and murders are two lifelines of a modern day Bollywood revenge saga. That way, ‘Maatr’ doesn’t have something new to offer, at least content wise. Having said that, violence on women is never irrelevant. While dealing with a subject that’s done and dusted many times, the makers probably should have been more careful while treating the film. It manages to wrench our hearts only till the women are groped, raped, beaten. On the contrary, we wanted Raveena’s journey towards revenge more intense, thrilling, powerful. Instead, it all happens too conveniently. Too many co-incidents and work of fiction make her voyage comfortable, convincing. The film leaves you no space to assume. And with so much going on, where’s the grief that hits you hard? Where’s the agony that chokes you?

A number of loopholes in the story can be pointed out, and a number of unanswered questions can be raised. ‘Maatr’ is rather a fair watch on technical aspects. Hari Vedantam’s cinematography is neat and Manoj Magarr’s editing doesn’t mess with the narration. Thankfully, the makers have not burdened the film with too many songs. There are just two tracks; they are situational and apt.

However, the film does raise another question mark on persistently increasing events of violence on woman and at the same time, manages to question the shaking and often unfair law and orders of the country as well.  You might want to give it a single watch for the sake of the content, and also to applaud Raveena’s comeback!