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Life In A... Metro - Review

Life In A... Metro

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

THE presence of Celebrity Big Brother winner Shilpa Shetty has undoubtedly helped Life In A… Metro to attract more attention than it deserves given the lacklustre nature of this ensemble Bollywood drama.

Anurag Basu’s movie sets out to deliver a realistic and unpretentious look at the lives and emotions of a handful of city dwellers in contemporary Mumbai – but it’s a hopelessly cliched affair that’s hindered still further by some of its wilder artistic flourishes.

The film follows the fortunes of seven main characters, including Shetty’s beautiful Shikha, a wife and mother who is struggling to cope with a failing marriage and the suspicion that her husband (Kay Kay Menon) is having an affair.

When offered the chance of a fling of her own, following a chance encounter with Shiney Ahuja’s stranger Akash, she must balance the chance of escape with the loyalty and honour demanded of an Indian woman.

Elsewhere, office worker Neha (Kangna Ranaut) must choose between an adulterous affair and the affections of a charming new colleague (Sharman Joshi’s Rahul), and Shikha’s sister Shruti (Konkona Sharma) searches desperately for love and understanding while pushing against the unlikely advances of the socially awkward Debu (Irrfan Khan).

On the surface, Life In A… Metro promises the possibility of a sizzling hotbed of sexual desire and deceit that it never quite manages to deliver.

Characters feel too contrived and almost everyone is let down by a dreary script that frequently places a strain on the realism the director claims to have been seeking.

Several insights into Indian culture and changing attitudes are intriguing (mostly concerning Shetty’s character) but any potential is wasted by an MTV approach that insists on setting several sequences to the soundtrack provided by a band that integrates with the characters.

It’s like watching the comedy band from There’s Somethig About Mary being dropped into a reality-based situation and just doesn’t work (especially attempts to showcase an electric guitar being played in the rain!).

The hopelessly contrived finale is also over-egged and largely unrewarding given that so many of the outcomes have been telegraphed such a long way in advance.

The result is a tedious experience that seems to fly in the face of any of its noble intentions and which lacks the sophistication needed to help it crossover and appeal to mainstream audiences.

Running time: 2hrs 10mins
Certificate: 15

  1. Sigh.. You are probably right. Hindi films really are stilted. Actresses like Shilpa are lovely butterflies beating their wings against an iron cocoon.

    Carlton West    May 15    #
  2. This is one of the most foolish review I’ve ever seen in my life. Whoever he is/she is, one thing is sure, he/she doesn’t understand cinema. Or was completely conditioned by some past negative experience or must have a superiority complex who doesn’t values or understands other culture products.
    For God’s sake never ever ask this guy to write a review again. Really man, its awful on his part. How can he simply write such a foolish stuff. I saw this movie twice, it was one of the best movies of 2007 so far. I just can’t understand how can he write this way. It’s like asking a stone age man to read and understand the General theory of Relativity in a language that never existed. Really, I mean it…Jerry Pinn

    Jerry pinn    May 21    #
  3. Erm, Jerry, you do realise that the film is a commercial, as well as a critical, flop?

    Desi    May 22    #
  4. It is not a commerical flop …The guy who wrote the review is stupid..

    Jay    May 23    #
  5. Glad to hear it is a commercial flop...

    Bea    May 26    #
  6. Well, I decline this review and on the contrary I am saying LIFE IN A METRO is one of the superb, quite realistic, gripping and enjoyable movie of 2007. Its kind of movie who appeals thoughtfulness and gives complete satisfaction of watching a movie. Whoever speaks ill or bad about this movie is just don’t know HOW TO WATCH A MOVIE?

    Rushi    May 28    #
  7. Kudos to the author of this article. The movie i’d say had nothing new to offer, in terms of story line, its another stint by hindi cinema to bring their presentations at par with international standards. Its nothing more than an admirable effort on part of the director. Most of it seems pretty contrived and fails to deliver an insight into the purported story lines, One moment was particularly hillarious, when Konkana sharma discovers her potential BF’s homosexual fling with the baldie.. the scene felt like deja vu, reminiscent of another hindi movie “page 3”.. when the same actress goes through a similar predicament in the aforementioned movie. Nonetheless, most of it was a drag anyway.

    Kaine    May 29    #
  8. I just watched the movie.It’s not path-breaking or breakthrough cinema, yes, but nevertheless,it was a good movie. Just because it’s commercial does not mean it’s “tedious”. I’d give this movie a 3.5 stars. Acting by the main characters were really good, and puhlease, the songs were gorgeous and i didn’t mind having the band in the middle of the movie… seems like the reviewer should stick to movies like There’s Something About Mary, rather than Bollywood.

    Nish    Jun 5    #