At many points in Maatr, the lechers are seen asking a question, “Aurat yeh sab kar sakti hai?”, “Woh ek aurat hi toh hai,” etc. The film answers that question the hard-hitting way. Raveena Tandon returned to the big screen as the main lead after a hiatus and she returned with a bang. Maatr which means mother in English is a rape-revenge thriller. A mother Vidya Chauhan (Raveena Tandon) and her teenage daughter are brutally gang raped by a bunch of lecherous monsters high on money and political power. The daughter is subsequently murdered. After being abandoned by her husband, being subjected to an unfair treatment by law and pushed against the wall, the mother rises and how! She goes on a rampage, a path of vengeance. The film has released alongside Sonakshi Sinha’s Noor and after watching both the films, according to me, Maatr should be your pick of the week. Here are 5 reasons why I think so…
Kudos to Raveena Tandon for choosing a script like Maatr to mark her return to the big screen. She could’ve easily opted for a more mainstream commercial path but she told me in an interview that it was a conscious decision on her part to choose a script that talks about an issue. After a long time, I’ve come across a performance that is this layered. Raveena Tandon who is seen as the main lead on the big screen after 11 years nails her part of a grieving, vulnerable, broken mother. There is a scene in the film where her character says, “It’s okay…it’s okay” to an agitated teenage girl who has just witnessed a murder, disguised as death. In that particular moment albeit a brief one, she portrays anger, sympathy, happiness and menace, all at once. ALSO READ: Maatr honest review: Here’s what critics have to say about Raveena Tandon’s revenge saga
This has to be the most despicable performance I’ve come across by any actor as an antagonist in a very long time. Madhur Mittal as loathsome Apurva Malik, makes sure you have nothing but sheer hatred for his character from the first scene till the end. Madhur has acted in quite a few Hollywood films like Slumdog Millionaire and Million Dollar Arm and his menacing turn as rapist cum murderer is sure to get his character the brickbats and his performance the bouquets.
The film may not boast of known actors but that works well in its favour and gives it a realistic feel. Actors who played Madhur’s friends in the film, his uncle and his father were perfect for their part. Anurag Arora shines as a cop, Divya Jagdale as Ritu (Raveena’s friend) is first rate and Rushad Rana as Raveena’s husband Ravi Chauhan, even though has a shoddily written role, he is earnest, as far as his performance goes.
The revenge of an underdog
Who doesn’t love a revenge thriller, especially when your protagonist is an underdog, a David vs Goliath kind of story. Even the execution of most of the murders planned by Raveena’s character leaves you satisfied. You know a revenge saga has done its job when you feel the angst of the protagonist and content at her achievements.
Maatr is a story that needed to be told. Raveena Tandon told me in an interview that films like Maatr that talk about the safety of women in today’s India should be made more often, in fact, every month. It’s the need of the hour. And it indeed is true. The first ten minutes of the film are the most unsettling experience I’ve ever had while watching a film in a long time. The film makes you uncomfortable and speaks volumes about how law and order do not exist in our society. Watch the film for just that thought as somewhere in your conscious you know what you are witnessing on the big screen has been faced by someone at some point in their life.