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The lives of a group of people, who live in Mumbai are told in this tale, which revolves around Rahul - who occupies an apartment owned by his uncle, and lets rich and influential people use it for their personal sexual past-times. An ignored and angry young wife, Shikha falls into the arms of a young man named Akash, who wants to be an actor for Indian movies; then there is Shikha's sister, Shruti, who is having an affair with a man named Monty; and finally there is Shikha's teacher, Shivani, who is romancing Amol. Things get complicated when Rahul finds out that Neha, who is his girlfriend, is using this very apartment to meet with Ranjeet, who is Shikha's husband. Written by
Sumitra (corrected by Calista)
About love, relationships, struggle, metro, and... about life.
Anurag Basu directs Life in a Metro, a fun, dramatic feature which, like such movies as Dil Chahta Hai, attempts to portray the new India. Metro presents several individual stories of mostly young people, and all these stories are intertwined into one movie, which clearly aims to show the real side of the big city of Mumbai with all of its complexities, difficulties and troubled relationships. Each story is presented efficiently, and Basu successfully captures the spirit of the urban city with his range of colourful characters, depicting their modern lifestyle, their trials and tribulations, their dreams, hardships and dilemmas. This depiction is significantly aided by the realistic dialogues and situations, the dark dim atmosphere, the brilliant cinematography, and the narrative style, which is flavoured with wonderful music, great contemporary humour and some breathtakingly shot views of the big city.
The film is generally very well developed, though sadly the stories themselves are not particularly original. One story, for one, is an out-and-out copy of the classic gem The Apartment (1960). I was also quite shocked to see that the story of Konkona Sen Sharma, for instance, is given an element similar to the one she had in Page 3 (2005), with one scene being laughably copied from the latter. These, along with other flaws, reduce the movie's quality. Yet, it is still totally watchable and enjoyable. The script gives the film a very authentic feel which, along with some wonderful performances, makes the movie easy to relate to. The film's score is exceptional, and Pritam creates one of the best soundtracks of the year. Songs like "In Dino", "O Meri Jaan", "Rishtey" and "Alvida" are awesome and none of them is actually lip-synced by the actors, which contributes to the film's realism.
The acting is generally very good, and some of the performances are excellent. Shilpa Shetty gets a good role and delivers her second-best performance after Phir Milenge. Both films require her to act rather than look sexy and she is so good at it (at both, but I'm referring to the acting here). As Shikha, she is heartfelt and vulnerable and carries her scenes with grace, displaying her character's loneliness and desperation. Shiny Ahuja is convincing as the aspiring actor who falls for Shikha, and their relationship is beautifully portrayed. Kay Kay Menon is very good as Shikha's infidel husband Ranjeet. Kangana Ranaut is a little too loud at points but still effective as Ranjeet's lover Neha, and Sharman Joshi is fine as his ambitious employee who is also in love with Neha. Dharmendra and Nafisa Ali are good in their roles but sadly their story is the least developed and therefore quite forgettable.
The finest performances in the movie, along with Shilpa Shetty's one, are unsurprisingly those delivered by Irrfan Khan and Konkona Sen Sharma. Khan is amazingly likable and funny as Monty, and Sen Sharma is more than astonishing as Shikha's frustrated and heartbroken sister Shruti, whose personal problems really bring her down but she later finds the strength to move on. Her character is perhaps the most complex in the movie, as she has to play the supportive sister and friend, the wronged woman, and the woman who finally finds the one but is unsure. Her chemistry with Khan is wonderful with their scenes being some of the film's best and wittiest, and yes, the one in which she breaks down while trying to release her tensions by screaming at the top of her lungs on the roof of a high building with Khan's Monty, ultimately screaming her pain out, is really the film's best acted scene.
Life in a Metro is not without its flaws, and the fact that some parts of it lack originality really get on the nerves. That said, it is interesting and has many great moments of moving drama and funny comedy. The film will be mainly remembered in years to come for its rather different portrayal of the big city, its music, and some of its performances, all of which make it an altogether worthy picture.
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