Sunday, July 22, 2007

Life in a Metro

I had watched this movie, but was not too terribly impressed with it. However, it seemed to be a movie made to get into good favour with reviewers, and it seemed to do that. However, a couple of days back I was having a conversation with a colleague, and when I asked her about her opinion, she was dismissive. Her impression being the movie was all about sex, extra-marital affairs and the like. And she wondered whether there really are characters like the one played by Kay Kay Menon, the under-current being the hope that no she knew ever got involved with a character like that.
The movie comes with some good credentials. It is directed by Anurag Basu, whose last movie Gangster was fairly decent. It stars a number of middle level stars, including people acclaimed for their actings skills.
The cast is Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Shilpa Shetty, Shiney Ahuja, Kay Kay Menon, Sharman Joshi, Kangana Ranaut, Dharmendra, and Nafisa Ali. Quite a handful, and considering that the director tries to develop each of these stories, the movie can get a bit muddled. Thus, if you are watching this movie at home, give it your undivided attention, else you will miss sections of the movie and not figure out what is going on.
For me, the epicenter of the movie was the character played by Kay Kay Menon, with his portrayal of a man essentially interested in only what works for him; he has issues in his marriage and hence cannot be bothered with trying to improve things and does not mind rubbing his wife's face in the mud by claiming that he is the one who is running the house and hence his wife (Shilpa Shetty) should essentially shut up and stop cribbing. He also has a sexual affair going on with his employee (Kangana Ranaut); no point bothering about trying to classify it as a love affair since he is not actually interested in any other aspect to the relationship other than the sex. He is equally willing to rub her face in the mud by claiming that he has done good for her by getting her a better deal in the office, and this should be enough for her to continue this relationship.
Shilpa Shetty, his almost estranged wife, forms a friendly relationship with an aspiring actor Shiney Ahuja, and even though it is friendly, you can almost see it going the way of a bored housewife not getting any love in her marriage, and slowly falling in love with a person respecting her, eventually going all the way towards an affair. When she discovers her husband's affair, a barrier breaks, and she almost falls for Shiney, allowing him to touch her in a way that is definitely intimate, but then realizing that she is going into an affair, and the shame of it pulls her back from the affair. In her mind, her husband's relationship is almost equated with her almost ready to fall into another relationship (and this part seemed a bit harsh to me - even though adultery is in the mind, equating a person's happening relationship with another that did not quite happen seems a bit harsh).
Then there is the character of Sharman Joshi, who works for Kay Kay Menon and is seduced by the notion of a higher job. For this reason, he is willing to let his flat be used as a sexual encounter place by his boss. But his portrayal is basically that of a good man. Even when he comes to know that his love, Kangana is having an affair with Kay Kay, and his flat is being used for that purpose, his love seems to be a dead thing. But he still supports Kangana when she faces the cold nature of Kay Kay and realizes that she was being totally used, or maybe that she felt something when there was nothing, just a simple transaction where she was using her body to get favours in the office. Shocking for her, but this is what Kay Kay feels like
and does not hesitate in telling her causing her to almost die.
There are more characters. Konkona Sen Sharma, Shilpa's sister, is looking for a husband through marriage portals. She meets Irrfan Khan, but is put off by his attitudes. However, she meets him later, and eventually charms upto him. When he is going for marriage, she realizes that she wants to marry him, and he ditches his marriage.
I did not like the Dharmendra-Nafisa Ali angle. The scenes were not fleshed through enough, and given that this story could have been so good, it was more like a filler in the movie. Either it should have been given more time, or dropped altogether.
Overall, the movie was okay. I live in a metro, most of my friends live in the metros with ages between 25 and 40, and I don't know anyone who has a story like Kay Kay and Shlipa. I don't think that life in a metro is all like that, would be a very very small percentage. But maybe I live in a different metro than the one in the movie.
The role enacted by Kay Kay was very good, given that you would have mostly hated the character as a cad, and what better praise for a role rather than the fact that a person got emotionally involved in the character.
Music was good, and I really like the 'Alvida' song (YouTube)

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