Life in a… Metro (2007)
Name: Life in a…Metro
Director: Anurag Basu
Did I watch this recently? Yes
Synopsis: 8 people living within Mumbai, all connected. Rahul (Sharman Joshi) is working as a call centre He silently loves his boss, Neha (Kangna Ranaut). A smart young woman who has made it up the ranks in a very short time. And hard work is not her only secret but her affair with her boss, Ranjeet (Kay Kay Menon). Ranjeet is married to Shikha (Shilpa Shetty). They decided Shikha she should stay back at home and take care of the house and the kid. So Ranjeet ventured out on his quest for money and success� and forgot his family somewhere on the way.
Neglected by an indifferent husband and bogged down by family chores, Shikha is soon attracted to a maverick in Akash (Shiney Ahuja). Akash is a struggling theatre artist and Akash and Shikha’s love blossoms. Shikha’s sister and Neha’s room-mate, Shruti (Konkona Sen Sharma) works in at Radio Mirchi. In her 30s and still a virgin, shes desperate to get married. She is dreamy eyed about her RJ, Wishy K. Her boss hooks her up with Wishy K. While she also meets Debu (Irfan Khan) through a matrimonial site. Hates him. But Debu, an ordinary man, is ready to marry her. Her affair with Wishy K blossoms. Amol (Dharmendra) is a 70 year old man who’s returned to India after 40 years to spend last few years of his life with his first love, Vaijanti. This a movie which looks at 8 peoples life, in a metro.
I was really looking forward to seeing Life in a metro. Over the last year quite a few people have mentioned it as one of their favourite movies of 2007. For me it seemed original, contemporary and to be full of great performances by many stars i really love. In many ways I got my wish. It was very contemporary, I realised that in the first 10 minutes when i heard mentions of sex and the Mumbai city settings. I also got to watch some great performances and memorable scenes especially thanks to Konkona Sen Sharma, Irfan Khan, Kay Kay Menon and surprisingly Shilpa Shetty. In fact I could not say enough how much I loved Konkona and Irfan in this movie. Their scenes and characters were fantastic! Even the pop-rock music nicely flowed between the scenes of the city.
So where did it go wrong?
Sadly despite the movies merits, my love for this film gets bogged down by the fact it has a significant portion of the film copied directly from a previous film. Only two weeks ago I borrowed out a Hollywood classic called “The Apartment” (1960) with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. When i started to watch Life In a Metro i was very upset to discover that the Kay Kay Menon, Shilpa Shetty, Sharman Joshi and Kangna Ranaut stories were all ripped off from Apartment. When I say ‘ripped off’, I don’t mean “inspired by”. As having seen the Apartment only a few weeks before I can say that Life In A Metro ripped off almost completely the storyline and dialogue. Even some of the jokes were taken directly from the Apartment but Sharman Joshi is no Jack Lemmon. The only difference is they focused on the wife side of the marriage (Shilpa Shetty’s character). In the Apartment there was no focus on the Boss’s wife, but other then that the differences between the Apartment and Life in a Metro stop there.
*Sigh*…I really wished to get passed the fact it was a remake, but it was just so directly copied that i felt i was watching an inferior copy of the film. Not only that someone has also informed me that some of the music was copied. Which is no surprise considering its Pritam, but still it just aided in my disappointment finding out that the film was not as original as i hoped it would be. But luckily I haven’t heard the original music so I wasn’t so annoyed by knowing the music was copied. Also people have said one of the scenes was copied from “For Love or Money” but luckily I haven’t seen that film either.
But the film is not without merit, it was still overall a nice timepass thanks to the subplots and strong performances.
Leaving the unoriginality of some of the movie behind, it has several points that make this movie a nice timepass. For me the Konkona Sen Sharma and Irfan Khan storyline was the highlight of the movie for me. Debu (Irfan Khan) is 35, has been looking for a wife for a long time and is a bit wierd. Shruti (Konkona Sen Sharma) is 30 and desperate to get married. Although she meets Debu, she doesn’t like him – instead she dreams of an ideal man such as her boss is Wishy K.
For me Konkona and Irfan have an abnormal pairing which is why I think I liked it. Their storyline was different, humourous and I think also teaches a good lesson to us girls (that sometimes the right man for us is the ordinary man before us, not the dream guy as they don’t realistically exist). Their characters are so real and its just hard not to fall in love with Debu and Shruti.
There are several strong scenes between Kay Kay Menon and Shilpa Shetty that make me want to take back whatever bad things I have said about Shilpa in the past. Some of their scenes are the most believable and intense of the film and Anurag does a superb job extracting these performances from them. I also have to applaud Anurag Basu for being able to direct all the film’s stories together. Often with these multiple storyline movies that can fall flat due to the assembly of the stories together – either feeling rushed or too choppy. I didn’t feel any of the stories felt rushed, they just seemed to interlink and relate to each other with ease which i’m sure takes some effort. Also the technical elements of Life in a metro such as the cinematography is A-Class.
For me the weaker performances in this film were Shiney, Kangna and Sharman Joshi. I enjoyed Kangna Ranaut and Shiney Ahuja in Gangster but here i felt they were just bland. Also I’m yet to see Kangna where she doesn’t play someone mentally unstable, its starting to get boring seeing her play the same character all the time.
Overall Score: 3/5 Hairy Anil Kapoors – Overall Life in a Metro is a nice timepass. I loved watching the Irfan Khan and Konkona Sen Sharma storyline and also Kay Kay Menon and Shilpa Shetty put in some solid intense performance. Basu excels in the technical aspects of the film and manages to nicely balance all the storylines (which is a huge achievement). Problem for me and the movie lies in a significant portion of the film being directly copied from “The Apartment” and some of the bland performances by Kangna and Shiney. Basu also tries to hard to create some high drama, which doesn’t always pay off for him. But at 2 hours its a pretty good timepass to watch for some engaging subplots, pop-rocking music and some intense scenes.
Entry filed under: 3 Star Movies, Excel God Reviews. Tags: Anurag Basu, Dharmendra, Irfan Khan, Kangna Ranaut, Kay Kay Menon, Konkona Sen Sharma, Life in a metro, Sharman Joshi, Shilpa Shetty, Shiney Ahuja.