Tuesday, May 29

Review of Life in a Metro

Life in a Metro is the latest in the string of multi story dished out for an urbane audience that flocks to multiplex for feel good cinema. The movie explores the underbelly of a city caught in a 9 to 9 existence, lure of retail economy and its implications on human equations.

Well, for one the subject definitely has potential. But what goes terribly wrong with this movie is its lack of ambition. Anurag Basu is content with his final product: clichéd cinema with loads of oomph value.

So Metro becomes a tell tale of “who does who” in a Corporate environment with characters who out do each other in the bedroom. The stories are etched weakly and so are the characters. Of the jamboree, the only story that strike a chord is Shruti’s.

Shruti is the quintessential girl caught in the whirlpool of job, career and making her life in the city which leaves little time for play. Her loneliness takes her to matrimonial sites and wrong choices. Half an affair with a gay and some meetings, Shruti finds togetherness with the awkward, “off the train” Debu. With shades of Sex and the City, the bond Debu and Shruti form is endearing. However, Anurag explores only one facet of the single life in Metro. Most singles do bother about where the next hug would come from but there are other overriding factors to a single life. Like career, ambition self expression, savings, taxes, laundry etc. Rahul (Sharman Joshi) works in a call centre and pawns his apartment for the good things in life without an emotion. Rahul finds himself at the crossroads when Neha, who he loves, attempts suicide in his apartment. He questions his premises and chooses to stop. The story of Kay Kay Menon and Shilpa Shetty, a couple whose marriage is on the verge of breakdown, is by far the most clichéd. It goes on to strengthen the small town perception of a metro where married men are jumping from bed to bed while their waiting wives heave and sigh with a sacrificial lamb like attitude. Basu boy should know better. Marriages caught in expectation warp, lack of compatibility, vortex of EMIs, and struggle for identity in a social institution with multiple pressures demand a more sensitive portrayal than a philandering husband and a waiting wife. Kangana Renaut’s as the unbalanced woman seeking meaning through a relationship is copied from earlier movies like Arth but lacks depth. Incoherent dialogues like”Mein apne us baap ko dhoond rahee hoon jo mujhe bachpan mein chod kar chala gaya tha” makes you groan. The story of Dharmedra- Nafisa Ali laced with sexual innuendos are passé.

The performances lack punch. The extremely talented Shiney Ahuja is wasted as the wannabe actor who starts caring for the neglected wife. Sharman Joshi, and Kangana Renuat are just about average. Kay Kay Menon delivers the goods but becomes a victim of weak characterization. Anurag, eschews from exploring the urban male psyche through Ranjeet’s character. The doe eyed Shilpa Shetty of the big brother fame needs to act now. She comes across as both vacuous and pretentious as the suffering wife. The movie belongs to the on screen chemistry of Irfaan Khan & Konkana Sen who act unpretentiously.

And finally, one word about the music. Pritam’s band sung some songs well but their leaping onto the screen in weird hairdos and black garb was distracting. Amitabh’s lyrics could have been better.

Anurag Basu is capable of much more, Metro can be at best described as a creative hiatus of the guy who gave us the very luscious Murder and the very black Gangster.


Ninad said...

Nice review….I agree with you on Konkana…I think she deserves all the praise for her portrayal of Shruti…The ending was typical Bollywoodish but what I liked about the ending was Shilpa Shetty going back to her husband…That shows how Indian women are trapped in our cultural bonds that do not allow her to look beyond her husband even when her husband sleeps around everywhere. I wouldn’t really want her to accept her husband but she had to think of her kid and that’s what makes her go back. And yes, long haired dudes should not be allowed to jump on to the screen at every chance possible. It kills the mood and as you said its very distracting.

White Magpie said...

Oh well!!

Anonymous said...

honoured, been out of town so late read.great read. i think i ve added another feather to my tecnical ignorance.days back i posted my comments on this,a long one,went through all the text copying procedure, still couldn't do it.i,m ashamed to ask but how does one post comments here!hope this one goes through...