wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?) - You will always have something better to do than watching this film.
Essentially a ‘bro-mance’ between four youngsters who are forced to enter Mumbai’s murky underworld, Matter is the kind of film that should never have been made. With virtually nothing going for it except for a few scenes involving the playful camaraderie between the four lead characters, Matter is mediocre for the most part, sometimes downright cheap. An insult to the senses, including the sixth and the seventh, children in particular should be kept away from this film.Read more
The fact that the last film I saw before Matter on the big screen was Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, has nothing to do with what I eventually felt about Matter. A film so poorly written that even school plays parodying ‘Indian Idol’ seem better, Matter is the kind of film that, apart from doing nothing for the cause of Marathi cinema, may also have ended up having an adverse effect on the mind of that young boy who was sitting with his parents in the last row of the screen where I saw the film. He will probably grow up not believing in the magic of cinema.
Three young kids growing up in a rough neighborhood in Mumbai commit a murder to avenge the rape of the sister of one of them. They are sent to a juvenile delinquent home for reformation, where they become friends with another young kid, Ronnie. Together, the four of them grow up to become the main leads of the film, four wastrels who can’t find decent work because they are branded as criminals or bhais because of one mistake in their childhood.
Their solution? “A bad name is better than no name, so let us just become actual bhais instead.” And thus begins a torturous couple of hours comprising primarily of guns, girls and gaalis (profanity) (or whatever they could get through the censors).
Riddled with showboating technical gimmickry, including crass transitions and unnecessary camera movements, Matter has almost nothing right with it. The screenplay is so poorly written that I can’t even use my favourite phrase, ‘lost the plot’ to describe it, simply because they never had a plot in the first place. A host of mindless characters, situations, scenes, songs and twists pepper proceedings until the merciful end, something that I have never been more grateful for.
To be fair, the four male leads, played by Santosh Juvekar, Jitendra Joshi, Rajesh Shringapure and Sushant Shelar, share a decent camaraderie. The best scenes of the film are invariably those where the four of them are needling one another. Acting is clearly in the blood of not one of them, but they are all endearing in a goofy way. It is when they decide that they want to ‘rule’ Mumbai that they end up looking like the clowns that they are.
And then of course, there is Sameer Dharmadhikari playing bad-ass cop Vikram Pradhan, who believes that ‘Mumbai saaf toh sau gunhe maaf’. (If Mumbai is clean, then all crimes are forgiven) He leads a pack of caricature-ish side characters including Muslim dons in South Mumbai and an unscrupulous female politician who shelters the underworld. The film meanders along aimlessly without a message or a story with a very clear single point agenda – ‘let us make a cool film on the Mumbai underworld’, an agenda which it miserably fails at.
Clearly, someone who held the keys to the safe saw the disaster that was in the making midway through, because what starts off looking like a film with a certain level of production value eventually descends into a mess of digitally shot, poorly colour-corrected footage put together to complete the film.
Matter is a film best avoided, one that children in particular must definitely be kept away from.
This review is by guest reviewer Pradeep Menon. Pradeep is a filmmaker and a dreamer. He loves books, rain, winters, tea and his parents. Cinema, however, is the only truth he believes in. He breathes and bleeds film, mostly in hues of saffron, white, green and blue. You can watch his short films at www.youtube.com/cyberpradeep.
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Highly recommended because of language and violence. The smarter thing would be to just keep them away from this film.