Maatr (2017) : Movie Review
Maatr : What’s this folks?!! It’s 2017 and all we get is a watered down wishy-washy version of ‘I spit on your grave’ (1978) and ‘Lipstick’ (1976) which fails to engage or enthuse you in the way it should. Quite naturally so, since bollywood has already doled out a far superior ‘Insaf Ka Tarazu’ (1980) which ofcourse, was ‘Lipstick’ indianised and the unpretentious ‘Zakhmi Aurat’ (1988) which had Dimple Kapadia chopping off the sexual organ of her rapists as an act of vengeance. [Read: Naam Shabana (2017) : Movie Review ]
Blame it more on the screenplay which is so woefully predictable with clichéd characters (devilish politicians, corrupt cops, insensitive husband etc) and a ridiculous climax, it fails to evoke any sympathy towards Vidya Chauhan (Tandon) – a school teacher who while driving her daughter (Alisha Khan) home one night takes a wrong turn to avoid the heavy traffic and falls prey to the bunch of ‘bigda hua laundas’ headed by the CM’s son (Madhur Mittal, impressive). With her daughter dead and mentally scarred for life, Vidya seeks ‘insaaf’ from the cops. Expectedly, she’s turned away with a warning that “Yeh dobaara bhi ho sakta hai..”
Suddenly in an unconvincing transformation, the docile Vidya turns in to a scheming avenger and kills her tormentors one by one in ‘staged accidents’. Frankly, none of these murders manage to thrill you. One of them involving her student appears totally fake. And, Vidya escaping police patrol by wearing only dark goggles is a trick which got outdated eons ago.
On the positive, a couple of scenes are truly touching – like the rape survivor afraid to enter a lift full of men and her hapless eyes as she witnesses her daughter getting brutalised earlier. These are a few sparks of brilliance in an otherwise bland and ineffective film. [Read: Begum Jaan (2017) : Movie Review ]
Maatr aims to take forward the feminist cinema brought to the fore recently by movies like ‘Pink’ and ‘Parched’ (both 2016) but misses the mark on both fronts – intent as well as execution.
Unsolicited advice : Stay away!