The gang rape of a mother and daughter on a highway in
UP may have been the real-life trigger. And when the perpetrators are led by a
corrupt Chief Minister’s son, it’s a reality that police investigation will be
heavily compromised. But this is no slick, sensitive slice-of-life cinema.
The credit titles curiously state that it’s Shree Ram ki kahani.
One doesn’t know where the good lord fits in when school teacher Vidya Chauhan
drives home with her daughter Tia and takes an unfortunate turn that upturns
The lack of sophistication, style or subtlety in the
storytelling is evident from the first crass introduction of the bad boys with
liquor, cocaine and lewd behaviour. The teacher and her daughter soon get a
full blast of it in graphic detail.
For Vidya who recovers from her physical injuries
rather quickly, there’s only Ravi, her insensitive husband to turn to. Soon
enough he tells her at the dining table, our marriage is over, will you pass me
the ketchup please? But Vidya has artist-friend Ritu for sympathy and a roof
over her head. Ritu also flares up at the cops on her behalf inan oft-seen
police station sequence. One dare not ask logical questions like, how does Ritu
know that the men the cops have rounded up are not the real culprits?
Astar Sayed directs a vigilante film where Vidya takes
on the rapists in amateurish ways, especially the one in a five-star hotel room
that’s quite disgusting. But cheer this feminist theme as Vidya drives around town
with impunity though the chief criminal and the cops have sniffed that she’s
Madhur Mittal as the Chief Minister’s son is repulsive,
as he’s supposed to be. Raveena Tandon looks gorgeous playing the avenging
One wishes there was something in the screenplay and
direction too that one could term ‘gorgeous’.
For a film that turns an important subject into a
crude cinematic experience, Maatr gets a 2* rating.
Journalist & Author