Story:An idealist Delhi school teacher Vidya Chauhan (Raveena Tandon) and her teenage daughter Tia (Alisha) are assaulted, gang raped and dumped on the roadside. While the police authorities buckle under pressure, Vidya devises her own revenge strategy as Tia succumbs to her injuries. Apparently, the Chief Minister’s son is among one of the

culprits, so the investigative officer tries his best to keep the case under wraps. However, turn by turn, Vidya plots the murder of the men who wronged her.  Whether she succeeds or not…forms the remaining plot of the film.

Maatr -- which means mother in Hindi -- is the story of a vengeful mother. There has been countless films made on this theme and Maatr partly covers both the genres-revenge drama and crime thriller. While director Ashtar Sayed chooses Delhi as the backdrop, he once again highlights the evident politician-criminal-police nexus. Even though a revenge thriller is always a winner, but Maatr’s climax is underplayed and storyline falters due to average screenplay and choppy editing.  While some of the murders are better planned, not all of them are well executed and looks sudden and haphazard. Though director has raised the violent quotient by adding more kicks and punches, but sometimes the images of the bloodsheds of the perpetrators appear gross. Nonetheless, the film is melodramatic at times but saved by some phenomenal performances.

Star Cast:
The film definitely scores well in the acting department. Raveena Tandon (Vidya Chauhan) who plays the central protagonist looks convincing as the victim as also nails her part well as the vulnerable broken and revengeful mother.

Madhur Mittal as Apurva Malik also deserves special mention. From the very first scene, audience will have sheer hatred for his onscreen character. Popularly known for acting in Hollywood film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, Madhur Mittal’s rapist cum murderer role is sure to win accolades.

Divya Jagdale as Ritu (Vidya’s friend) and Anurag Arora as Inspector Jayant Shroff have also given decent performances.

Direction/Story Treatment/ Cinematography/Dialogues:
One should definitely applaud the director’s intention, but Maatr could have been more powerful and riveting in terms of screenplay and direction. As the sole witness of the murder and as a survivor, Raveena is surprisingly given too much free reign to execute her plans. Talking about the revenge part of the film, the character of Raveena as a grieving mother is sketched out well.

Moreover, the Cinematography definitely helps the film get a realistic feel, but some of the dialogues are jaw-droppingly horrifying like, when a cop says: ‘PM desh ko shape karne ki baat kar rahe hain, aur yeh rape ki baat kar rahi hai’.

Editing could have been better, as at various junctures, the transition from one scene to another was not smooth.

Though, Maatr has its own share of snags, but director Ashtar Sayed has managed to build suspense and horror effectively and created a utopian world where justice is served some way or the other.

Ups and Downs:
Maatr is made with good intentions and in no way it trivialises the issue. Moreover, the film takes you through various emotions of agony, angst, discomfort, outrage and plain satisfaction.

 However, though the film’s intention is to serve as a wakeup call for the atrocities against women, but barring few emotionally charged scenes, Maatr appears repetitive and an over dramatised account of a revengeful mother.

Despite its flaws and shabby execution, do watch the film for its hard-hitting and compelling performances. It’s a fairly engaging one-time watch. Go for it!


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