Opening this week

‘Maatr’ film review: Meet the mother of all vigilantes

Raveena Tandon plays an avenging matriarch who wreaks havoc on her daughter’s rapists.

The Delhi-set Maatr begins on a shocking note, slides into slowburn mode in which grief crystallises into vigilante feeling, and ends with the kind of crowd-pleasing climax that was typical of female vendetta dramas from the 1980s.

Maatr borrows some notes from the 2012 South Korean movie Don’t Cry Mommy and its entire visual palette and economical narrative style from the revenge and action films churned out by the East Asian country. Blood gushes forth, heads are bashed in, and righteous rage trumps the law and order machinery, all within a sleek and gleaming world that has been elegantly lensed by cinematographer Hari Vedantam.

Delhi teacher Vidya (Raveena Tandon), undergoes every woman’s nightmare: she is raped along with her 15-year-old daughter Tia by a gang of louts whose lynchpin is the chief minister’s cocaine-snorting son Apoorva (Madhur Mittal).

Tia doesn’t survive the attack. Vidya does¸ barely. Her husband Ravi (Rushad Rana) cruelly blames her for the incident and puts distance between them. The investigating officer Shroff (Anurag Arora) is shackled by the culprit’s clout. Only Ritu (Divya Jagdale), Vidya’s artist friend, is sympathetic and gives Vidya support and shelter, but even she is blind to what Vidya is plotting. Once the tears dry up and her features have settled into a mask, Vidya starts going after the assailants one at a time.

Play
Maatr.

Director Ashrat Sayed cuts out the speechifying and works hard to make familiar material seem new and exciting. Tackier versions of Vidya’s vendetta exist in the annals of Indian cinema, and the South Korean aesthetic that the film is channelising isn’t as scornful of the efficacy of the local law enforcement agencies as writer Michael Pellico is. Rampaging through the capital has surely never been this easy, and Sayed and Pellico challenge credibility ever so often. A chief minister’s son who doesn’t have security, especially somebody as prone to courting trouble as Apoorva, hasn’t been seen before in the movies, and with good reason.

Yet, Sayed manages to skillfully steer his fantasy of vigilante justice all the way to the ludicrous climax. He directs Raveena Tandon perfectly, focusing on her still youthful face and giving her minimal dialogue and no emotional outbursts to ruin the effect. Tandon’s fretful acting style is kept out of the way in Maatr. She is often framed mid-shot, and when her visage looms into view, the features are firmly in place. Vidya’s cool demeanour can almost be mistaken for righteous ruthlessness, but hers is actually the face of a 1990s movie star reining in her tendency to grandstand, in keeping with the sobriety of the material. Ritu is the warmer flesh-and-blood character, Shroff is suitably confused, and Apoorva is as malevolent as they come, but the story’s icepick heart nestles within Vidya, the mother of all vigilantes. The plot is hokum, but there is style to spare.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

When house hunting is as easy as shopping for groceries

The supermarket experience comes to a sector where you least expected it.

The woes of a house hunter in India are many. The dreary process starts with circling classifieds in newspapers and collecting shiny brochures. You flip through the proposed and ready designs that launch a hundred daydreams on the spot. So far so good. But, every house hunter would attest to the soul-crushing experience of checking out a disappointing property.

The kitchen of a 2BHK is carved from the corner of the hall, the 3BHK is a converted 2BHK, the building looks much older than in the pictures…. after months of reading the fine line, and between the lines, you feel like all the diagrams and highlights seem to blur into each other.

After much mental stress, if you do manage to zero in on a decent property, there’s a whole new world of knowledge to be navigated - home loans to be sifted through, taxes to be sorted and a finance degree to be earned for understanding it all.

Do you wish a real estate platform would address all your woes? Like a supermarket, where your every need (and want) is catered to? Imagine all your property choices nicely lined up and arranged with neat labels and offers. Imagine being able to compare all your choices side by side. Imagine viewing verfied listings and knowing what you see is what you get. Imagine having other buyers and experts guiding you along every step while you make one of the most important investments in your life. Imagine...

MagicBricks has made every Indian house hunters’ daydream of a simplified real estate supermarket a reality. Now you have more than a pile of brochures at your disposal as the online real estate marketplace brings you lakhs of choices to your fingertips. Instead of bookmarking pages, you can narrow down your choices by area, budget, house type etc. Just so you aren’t hit by FOMO, you can always add a suburb you’ve been eyeing or an extra bedroom to your filter. But there’s more to a house than just floor space. On MagicBricks, you can check for good schools in the vicinity, a park for evening walks or at least an assured easier commute. Save time and energy by vetting properties based on the specs, pictures and floor plans uploaded and have all your niggling concerns addressed on the users’ forum.

Shortlisted a property? Great! No need to descend down another spiral of anxiety. Get help from reliable experts on MagicBricks on matters of legalities, home loans, investment, property worth etc. You can even avail their astrology and Vastu services to ensure an auspicious start to life in your new home or office. With its entire gamut of offerings, MagicBricks has indeed brought the supermarket experience to real estate in India, as this fun video shows below.

Play

Get started with a simplified experience of buying, renting and selling property on MagicBricks here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of MagicBricks and not by the Scroll editorial team.