American writer-producer Micheal Pellico, who has scripted Raveena Tandon-starrer Maatr, says political leaders view the unity of women as a threat to their hegemony.
Pellico, also the executive producer of the upcoming thriller, says his film is based on the idea of women's unity.
“Political leaders live in fear that women will unite someday and stand up as a group. They know that when women unite, it spells trouble for their governments. Maatr is an extension of this idea.”
Pellico says he found director Ashtar Sayed perfect to realise his vision.
“When I met Ashtar, I realised that both of us shared a common passion and anger about the situation surrounding rape and other violent crimes against women. We wanted the story to be told with the international audience in mind.
“We made a conscious effort right from the beginning that the story may be based in India but owing to its subject, it is important that it is made in an international style so that it appeals to a larger audience. I don't want people to think that this story is only made for India.”
Pellico says that cases like 2012's Nirbhaya gang rape are not uncommon but when it comes to reporting the crime the victim is often discouraged and asked to hide her identity due to social stigma.
“It happens so many times that ridiculous excuses are given for the rape – that the girl's clothes were inappropriate, she was drinking, she went out with men late in the night, partied and so on. We often mistreat and terrorise the victim, instead of taking care of them. We don't try to understand the trauma they go through.”
The writer says that Maatr is not about seeking revenge, it is about seeking justice.
“When I was writing this story, I was sure that this woman is not a superhero. She doesn't know any martial arts. She's an everyday common woman. Maatr is not about seeking revenge, but justice.
“What I want to show the audience, especially the women, is that every woman possesses the mental strength, resolve and intelligence to seek justice.”
Maatr is slated to release on April 21.