Raveena Tandon in "Maatr." (photo provided)

CDB Musical Production, Anjum Rizvi Film Company, Manoj Adhikari Production & Pugmark Films present “Maatr.”

Produced by: Manoj Adhikari & Anjum Rizvi

Directed by: Ashtar Syed

Written by: Michael Pellico & Mishka Singh

Music: Fuzon

Starring: Raveena Tandon, Madhur Mittal, Divya Jagdale, Shailender Goyal, Anurag Arora, Rushad Rana, Alisha Khan, Divya Jagdale, Anurag Arora,

Saheem Khan, Nitin Sharma, Piyush Kaushik & others

It is reprehensible that a sensible and sensitive artist like Raveena Tandon gets conned into doing this atrocious trivialization on such a serious issue as rape. It was alright when she was similarly conned into accepting trash like “Bombay Velvet,” because at least that was not socially harmful.

Here, we have heard that the much-maligned censors have trimmed a 13-minute rape scene into four minutes. The way the rape scene has been filmed, we realize we have been spared nine minutes of agony, as the rape scene is neither graphic and hard-hitting nor (as seen) vicarious or titillating. It is shot with technical gimmickry but has no impact, not even the desired one of revulsion. It is, simply, one more tedious sequence in a tediously farcical and condemnable trivialization of a very serious issue – rape.

What follows is worse. The grief portions are all clichéd. The cad of a husband Ravi (Rushad Rana, alright we guess) has a one-point agenda – why did Vidya (Tandon) “take that wrong turn” (on the road) that led to the double rape and their daughter Tia (Alisha Khan)’s murder? As an audience, I too wondered: why did Vidya change roads just because of one traffic jam that was over? Vidya’s friend Ritu (Divya Jagdale, okay) abhors Ravi’s attitude, and soon it is time for Ravi to say that he does not wish to live with his wife.

Oh, by the way, Vidya has even identified one of the rapists – he is Apurva Malik (Madhur Mittal), son of the chief minister (Shailendra Goyal), who was the chief guest who awarded Tia the Best School Project Award the same evening at the function. And whaddayaknow? Apurva and his gang of boys, all drug and sex addicts and alcoholics, were all present at the school function, identifying which girl is dishy and where she lives!

As if all this is not yucky (and absurd) enough, Vidya decides to follow her path of retribution to the seven rapists (and also the politician) as a pro – except that the way she keeps getting lucky breaks is clearly not divine intervention but cinematic ineptitude. She loosens the wheel of culprit number one’s bike (she discovers him by chance too, as a biker at a traffic signal next to her car!) and follows him, and what do you know again? The wheel comes out so conveniently on a deserted stretch where there is no one to disturb them. And from here, things become more and more silly.

The fungoid icing on the vendetta cake is when Vidya annihilates the main culprit and his father by walking into the CM’s house during Holi celebrations and moving around as if she is (the sole) staff! She switches on the gas in the stoves and then smashes the villain into a bloodied and messy heap on the floor and walks out, leaving him conscious and alive. Of course, she knows he is going to light a cigarette even in that sorry condition and…Boom! The CM’s home explodes and no doubt so many innocent staff members and others must have been killed too.

Oh yes, by the way, Vidya cannot be traced by the villains for days in obvious places where she goes, as Apurva wants to kill her long before the Holi festival! Did she mind-read him again and go into hiding?

In between, in this apology for a script, there are other asinine things that happen, but we will not get into them all. The background music (Utkarsh Dhotekar) and photography (Hari Vedanta) all suffer because the director is so incompetent at what he is supposed to do. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan rants a mediocre sad song on motherhood that vanishes from your thoughts the second it is over. Fuzon provide the music, showing that film music is best left to FILM MUSIC composers!

The supporting cast passes muster. But not this film – not by a long chalk! Its real face is that of a cheap vendetta drama and an A-grade avatar of so many C-grade flicks that are junked faster than they are served to the smart audiences!

Rating: * (One Star)

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