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Friday, 21 April 2017

Maatr (Hindi) (2017)

The posters and the reviews screamed out that it was Raveena’s magnum opus and no less.  I would not say that it was far from the truth but then again it was nowhere close to a power packed performance that one would have expected from a role that offered so much.  It was controlled in parts but more often than not exposed the gaps that Raveena always had in her armoury (if she had one that is).

MAATR is the story of Mrs. Vidya Chauhan (Raveena Tandon) who is a teacher at GT Memorial High School (somewhere in the National Capital Region).  Her daughter Tia (Alisha Khan) – around 15/16 years old – studies in the same school.  Her husband, Ravi, is a workaholic who has been spending lesser time at home.  Vidya’s best friend is Ritu (Divya Jagdale) who is an artist by profession.

On the other side, we have a bunch of goons led by Apurva Malik (Madhur Mittal) who also happens to be the son of the Chief Minister.  Apurva and his gang are your usual, “Tu jaanta nahin hai main kaun hoon” types that we are so familiar with.  If the film is to be believed, then people can survive on just alcohol, coke and a little bit of starters throughout the day – absolutely nothing else.  And drinking starts at 10 am even if the party ended at 6 am.

Nevertheless, Apurva and gang happen to be at the annual day function of GTM where the CM is the Chief Guest.  They follow Tia and Vidya after the function.  Vidya chooses to take the shorter route as instructed by the GPS. With no civilization within hearing distance, the goons crash their SUV into Vidya’s hatchback and kidnap the 2.  The rest of night is a blur of debauchery at the end of which the goons dispose the “bodies”.  Only, Vidya is still alive.

I had not seen the trailer and my expectation was vastly different from what I saw.  I was hoping to get a trial by the system but at the end of the day MAATR was just another tale of revenge with a whole lot of coincidences.  The makers decided to add 18.53 seconds of Vidya’s training schedule as an after-thought – lest someone asked a question about a brutally beaten up woman taking on 7 men who are probably much stronger than her.

The average Indian director / producer continues to use the shortcut of tacky film making by using the country as a crutch.  After all “India mein sab kuch chalega”.  And MAATR proves that – hand over fist.  Audiences will lap it up because it is a hard hitting topic.  A few will know that it was just bad film making.

MAATR tries to handle an extremely sensitive topic but no one from the cast and crew seem to have the capability to do so.  Other than the gross gang rape scene, there is nothing quite hard hitting.  There is nothing that makes you stand up and take notice.  It is just a bunch of people making a buck at the expense of gullible movie goers through slick marketing.  Definitely not a must watch.  4 on 10.


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