Maatr movie review: This Raveena Tandon film is jaw-droppingly horrifying

Maatr movie cast: Raveena Tandon, Divya Jagdale, Madhur Mittal, Alisha Khan, Anurag Arora, Rushad Rana Maatr movie director:  Ashtar Sayed Maatr star rating: 1.5 stars

This rape-and-revenge thriller plays it strictly by the numbers: the heinous crime (involving the gang-rape of a mother and daughter), the aftermath, the wounded woman picking up the cudgels and going after the perpetrators. The roll-out of Maatr is as formulaic as they come, and sometimes that can be okay too, but a film like this needs to be deeply sensitive and alert to lift the sordidness of the material. Maatr fails on this score from the first frame on, with its improbable plot-points, and the crassness which seeps through: I cringed from beginning to end.

In fact, much of it is jaw-droppingly horrifying. A cop, observing the scene of the crime says : ‘PM desh ko shape karne ki baat kar rahe hain, aur yeh rape ki baat kar rahi hai’. Seriously? Who writes these lines?

There’ve been countless films made on this theme, which tie in standard strands of police procedural — crime thriller — rape-revenge fantasy, and we’ve come away from them disturbed, in the right way, to see how naked power and aggression can slam the victims to the ground, their legitimate pain never being acknowledged or addressed.

To create a woman like Vidya Chauhan (Raveena Tandon) who rises from the ashes to hunt out the gang of rapists—a politician’s loutish son (Madhur Mittal) and his hangers-on who operate from a of Delhi farmhouse — everyone involved should have been aware of what they were stepping into. Especially when you are setting the film in the Capital, which hasn’t forgotten that brutalised girl in the bus, on that December night.

And that extends to the leading lady, a Bollywood veteran, a woman with privilege, and a likeable actor who has a respectable CV: Tandon’s ‘zakhmi aurat’ is the result of good intentions marred by thoughtless execution.

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