132 Min | Comedy – Drama – Romance | May 2011
IMDB Rating: 7.4
Director: Anurag Basu
Starring: Dharmendra, Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma
Life in a Metro Review: 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.
Life in a Metro 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). 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. Life in a Metro’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. As Shikha, she is heartfelt and vulnerable and carries her scenes with grace, displaying her character’s loneliness and desperation.
The finest performances in Life in a Metro, 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. 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.