Director Anurag Basu seems to have an obsession with heights. In
"Murder", "Gangster" and now "Metro",
characters are seen hanging down or just sitting on ledges of skyscrapers.
In "Metro", he even gets his rock band to climb atop
a building and strum guitars. And when it isn't guitars, it's Irrfan
and Konkona getting on a rooftop to scream their lungs out.
It's meant to be therapeutic and we'll take Anurag Basu's word
for it. "Metro" falters only in parts. Some of the narrative's
punctuation marks are overemphasised. And the spiral of human relationships
often seems to replicate Mike Nichols' "Closer".
And yes, Billy Wilder's romantic comedy "The Apartment"
serves as a direct reference point for the Kay Kay-Kangana-Sharman
But make no mistake, this is a highly original film with a voice
that seems to reverberate across a limitless canvas of feelings
of people in a concrete jungle.
You know you are being sucked into the lives of characters who
are largely losers in the garb of white-collar dreamers, looking
for love and warmth in a cold, heartless city.
After "Gangster", Anurag Basu has got another winner
in "Metro" - a subtle, sly look at a bunch of characters
locked in the throes of infidelity.
Basu harnesses his narrative into a fiesta of reined-in feelings,
all indicating the growth of a city that cares little about one's
He has an incredible eye for performances. Every actor is nearly
flawless in the chaos of corroded commitments in the city. Always
witty, "Metro" moves through a laconic labyrinth of laughter
and some stifled sobs.
Sanjeev Dutta's dialogues are very indicative of the characters'
inner world.They slice right into the characters' hearts and give
us an insight into the machinations of people so busy realising
their dreams that they even forget to sleep.
On the negative side, "Metro" fails to connect us with
the characters beyond their love life. If they have a life beyond
their heart, we don't see it.
The film should be seen as a mellow, melancholic and sharp look
at love and sex in the city. The characters move in and out of some
skilfully written scenes.
Despite a frail chemistry with Shiney Ahuja, Shilpa Shetty gives
a nuanced performance. Bobby Singh's camera captures Shilpa in agonized
silhouettes. Kay Kay, as her insensitive husband, has a thankless
role that he performs with rare understanding.
While Sharman and Kangana are surprisingly chemistry-less in their
screen relationships, Irrfan and Konkona come across as the warmest
couple of this jigsaw of life. Watch them in the seashore sequence
and savour their outstanding emotive faculties.
"Metro" is manoeuvred forward by a melee of delicious
ideas ... like composer Pritam and his rock band appearing as narrators
to sing their songs. The rain-motif pelts down on the plot, creating
pockets of pain, desire and longing.
But the film could have done with better editing. Akiv Ali cuts
the material brutally ... but not deep enough.