Monday, September 20, 2010

Life in a Metro - Bittersweet

Actually you never give up longing for love, and you don't have to be living in a big city to wish for love.  Small town or big, people are always looking for love.  The characters you find in this film walk among us; you will run into anytime, anyplace.. looking for a kiosk to buy cigarettes, flipping through a magazine in the doctor's waiting room, sitting by you on the bus, living in your neighborhood, your home, your skin.

That is the trump card of the movie.  The characters are real, the dialogue is what we call  ’sadharan bol chal ki bhasha’, (un-grandiose).    The center piece is undoubtably, Shilpa Shetty.  This is so unlike the item girl she was reduced to by the formula filmmakers.  I hope she gets some good roles hereafter.

The movie takes you through the lives of four women, Shikha, Shruti, Neha and Shivani.  Shikha (Shilpa Shetty) is at a loose end with a husband who no longer loves her. Shruti (Konkona Sen) is looking for a life partner, Neha (Kangana Ranaut) is filling the void in her life with a sugar daddy, Shivani (Nafisa Ali) gets a bonus in shape of an old boyfriend homing in, 40 years too late.  The movie takes us through the wrong and right turns the women take.  Among the men  there is Ranjeet (KayKay), husband to Shikha and sugar daddy to Neha, his secretary.  Amol (Dharmendra) who had dumped Shivani years ago, because he wanted to get ahead in life.  Rahul (Sharman Joshi) works in Ranjeet's call center and  adores Neha,  Akash (Shiney) who bumps into Shikha on a bus and gets friendly with her, and Monty (Irfan Khan) who pops up too often in the life of Shruti to be ignored.

The director wastes the minimum possible footage to sketch the characters quickly.  As the titles roll, we get quick sketches of where all the lead characters are in their lives.  As the songs play, we get an overview of what the characters are doing at the moment. This allows you to grasp the story in a jiffy.  The product placement is also quickly dispensed with (Radio Mirchi and so that we may get on with the story.  The peppy dialogues, the faultless delivery, the clever use of voice-overs, keep the movie moving at a smart pace and audience rofl -ing so the proceedings don't get too morose.

The movie makes you think, and realise that everyone is looking for love and that to keep your heart and mind open is more important.  Shivani did not let a past grudge stop her from meeting Amol, and shared some lovely moments with him.  Shruti learns to look beyond the ordinary-ness of Monty and love him for being a friend (that gregarious whale -- he is lovable).  Neha learns to appreciate the sweet adoration of Sharman.

The movie is worth a watch for many reasons,  one of them being the band that sings about the current angst of the characters among the pavements and rooftops of Mumbai.  The songs are all lovely.  They sound good after the three years that have passed since the films release.

I end got a bit melodramatic for Konkona and Ifran, but they carried it off very well, I must say.  All other stories were wrapped up well.


  1. Absolute gem. Straight and on ur face depiction. Faltoo ka zada taam jhaam nahi hai unlike KJo who claims to handle relations and emotions better.. I would rate Anurag higher (his Gangster and Murder were well handled too).

    I also wrote review on this on MS. I did not know you then and I also had mentioned like you now that so many characters yet u r able to gaze through all of them and everyone will relate to some character or the other for sure.

    Anurag's latest Kites was disaster though. Too much of interference by Roshans I believe.. Hehe.

  2. Sahi hai, no one acts coy about getting physical either, just like in real life.

    KJO ka naam mat lo.

    And as for Kites, I don't knw what was GOING ON. Did they think that that mex girl and Hritik were like some laila-majnu ya kya? I am sure AK just hit the bottle and let his cameraman shoot some random footage that hritik wanted.

  3. KJo, SRK, Aamir and current crop Imran, Ranbir, Neel everyone sucks.. Sab se pakau Sonam Kapoor what crap they make and publicize toh aise karte hain jaise..

    KJo spoiled everything and now he is producing and in process producing products like him.. Siddharth Anand, Soham, Siddhrath Malhotra, Ayan... yuck... all his protegees.. Saalo ke real naam bhi uske film ke characters ki tarah hai...

  4. We differ on Wake Up Sid, but agree on everything else. I could not bring myself to see Aisha!

    Even movies like these are vanishing now :( Kya ho gaya hai sabko?

  5. Lovely review Ava, this is in fact one of Shilpa's best work, though i'm yet to see Phir Milenge which some say is her best.I love this film too, i have to say its part of a few number of films where i watched all in one go, usually for Hindi films i pause halfway and continue another time

  6. Thanks BD, I saw this on TV recently, and though it was my second or third watching, I could not tear my eyes away.

  7. I haven't seen this movie. Will probably catch it if and when it ever comes on TV.

    Lovely review as well :) yes, it is good to see some realistic bitter-sweet movies, because that's much closer to life than the candy floss that Bollywood loves to churn out!