Monday, May 14, 2007

Life in a Metro

Remember Shallow Hal, how the trailer promised a rather funny movie? Till you actually saw the movie and realized that the trailer was all you needed to see? Life in a Metro was just like that!

Spoiler warning: Plenty ahead. If you're planning to watch this movie, kindly refrain from reading further.

For a movie that supposedly captures the life of people living in a metropolis (in this case Mumbai), there is barely any mention of the place. Except maybe when the director wants to apologize for something mindless and selfish that any character is about to do, and conveniently blame it on the poor city.

Shilpa Shetty is the long suffering housewife who resists an affair with a lonely, washed up actor (Shiney Ahuja). There's Nafisa Ali, Shilpa's bharatnatyam (??) teacher who meets a long lost love (Dharmendra - man, he's gotten old!). Sharman Joshi is a BPO executive who lends his apartment and his bed to the sexual escapades of just about anyone senior in the office. Kangna Ranaut, apparently a brainless bimbette, is having an affair with her boss KK Menon. And then there is Konkana Sen Sharma, who finally falls for the guy who keeps staring at her chest (Irfan Khan). Needless to say, all the characters have to be linked somehow since its the latest fashion in the movies these days.

The subject material is not bad as such, but suffers under the graceless direction of Anurag Basu (the same guy who made Murder, I should have guessed). Each and everyone of the characters in the movie is such a cliche, it makes me want to hurl. I admit, every place has its share of infidelities, rat races, heartbreaks and such. But the people who live in this fake metro are so pathetic that you only feel a sense of outrage when they start blaming the city for their shortcomings. Basu tries to portray them as innocent victims, people driven to be what they are because of circumstance. But the one-line-of-voiceover-per-character to justify all that they do only ends up as an irritant.

The actors have a bad time of it, of course. Sharman Joshi, who was well directed in Rang De Basanti, is wasted here. He wanders about clueless, mooning over a lady love and mulling over a dilapidated building where his father dreamt of building a restaurant. Shiney Ahuja is unimpressive - my first movie starring this guy - and I kept wondering why people rave about him (sorry Ajaita!). Konkana is also wasted here, I mean what kind of a character is she? And why does anybody imagine that a woman who is single at 30 would necessarily be depressed about it? I liked her in Page 3 and Mixed Doubles, but she is completed misused here. Irfan Khan brings comic relief, this is an actor who can probably transcend the most disastrous of scripts.

The only actor who manages to shine through this mess is KK Menon - he is downright nasty as the cheating slime ball who doesn't hesitate to use his authority to bend his subordinates to his will. After a 2-year affair with a girl who 'makes him feel 20 again', he walks out on his wife when he learns that she's been with another man for 5 weeks (well, not technically). Why his wife feels so guilty about the little indiscretion when confronted with 2 years of a lying, abusive husband is beyond my understanding. But yes, its easy to believe that men like KK exist, running back shamelessly to the wife when the girlfriend bails out. I can't imagine real people like any of the others, but I can imagine KK living and walking the streets of Mumbai. Terrific actor, but its time he did something different.

Verdict - Give it a miss.

One more thing, the next time I see those 3 ugly guys breaking out into song anywhere, I am gonna shoot them!


ahiri said...

hahhaha super review and there is so much hype about it in the UK!!!
funny how most things shine because it is TALKed about.

CYCO said...

Somehow your review is urging me to watch it, just to see how bad it could be...

But I guarantee you, I neither have the time nor the patience to watch it....