Despite the stay on the release of her upcoming film, Maatr, actor Raveena Tandon remains unperturbed and says as far as she knows, things are on track. The Bombay High Court passed the stay order last week as the film’s producer, Anjun Rizwi, is yet to pay his dues to YT Capital Pvt Ltd.
Justice Gautam Patel passed the order against Rizvi and T-Series, stating that the film should not be released anywhere in the world and its prints or negatives should not be parted with or released to anyone. When asked about it, Raveena told a group of reporters, “It has been sorted out. Also, I think it’s great publicity everyone has been telling me this. So, I am like okay, nowadays negative publicity also works. So, I honestly have no idea on that front. You will have to ask the producers. But according to me everything’s still on track.”
The movie’s scheduled release date is April 21. It is about a mother who sets out to avenge her daughter’s death. Proud of being a part of the film, Raveena said that she hopes the censor board is “kind” towards Maatr as she believes that the brutality of violence against women needs to be depicted rather than subdued.
“This is a very strong message film that we believe in. We are hoping that the censors will be kind to us because it is high time we stopped sugarcoating things and giving it out to the public because people will remain indifferent if the message doesn’t reach across so in every way we are trying to give the message so that it actually makes the change, people should see the horror and brutality of the crime that is violence against women.”
“Our laws will remain to be like this, criminals will remain to be brazen if we remain indifferent, if our leaders and lawmakers remain indifferent, We will remain the way we are, nothing’s going to change. If I was disturbed while shooting for the film, imagine what the real victims and their families go through. Their lives are almost over while the criminals walk free. That is the saddest part,” the actor said.
Maatr is being compared with Sridevi’s upcoming thriller Mom, where she plays a mother who is all set to save her daughter from the shackles of a conspiracy. Raveena said she doesn’t think there’s any point of comparison between the two films and she, in fact, is glad that such stories are being told to the audience and at the forefront of them are female actors.
“I don’t know the story of Mom, the makers of Maatr don’t know the story of Mom so there’s no comparison but on the plus side, I think it is fantastic that such films are being made because women actors standing up and giving out such messages that we strongly believe in this cause. At least film like this (Maatr) should come once a month because that’s only how it is going to change. How is it going to change otherwise? We will make noise for three-four days and it will be back to business for everyone, because everyone’s forgotten. So, I think a message like this concerning women, made by women are very strong and they can reach out and make our audience aware because that’s how we can do it. We are actors, Sri ji, myself, Taapsee… All the girls who have worked in films which are on choices or on violence against women, this is the way we can make people aware,” Raveena said.
The actor believes it is the responsibility of artistes to keep telling stories, which can bring a change in the thought process of society towards crime against women. Recalling her meeting with Nirbhaya’s mother while working on Maatr, Raveena said she now feels more motivated towards making socially-relevant films.
“We can’t change the law but what can we do in our position? We can send messages and our request is don’t subdue it, don’t kill that message. Keep it alive and keep it burning. I have met victims’ moms like Nirbhaya’s mother and she said, ‘Chaar din channel wale aaye, chaar din newspaper mei tha, chaar din politicians aaye, humein compensation offer kiya, candle nights jalaye paanchve din se kuch nahi hua.’ Her tears haven’t dried up yet. But who is letting her still cry? When will she feel that she has got justice? It is up to us.”
Even on a personal level, the actor thinks it is important for mothers to cultivate in their children, especially sons, respect for women. “Men need to see that women around at your workplace are not humiliated. They should stand up for this. We as mothers need to teach our children, sons that you give them the right upbringing, respect the women or a weaker person. I am not saying only women but any kind of bullying, harm or criminal activity. It is up to us also to see that our sons are brought up in a way that they respect the person who’s next to them their mother, sister, friend or girlfriend or the wives.”