In Metro’s interval block, cops in a jeep chase two young men on a superbike. The fleeing men have just snatched a gold chain from a woman’s neck. The snatchers eventually outsmart the police. The police jeep topples, and the cops are seriously injured. The bike comes to a slow stop. One of the men gets down, walks towards an injured cop, and snatches his gold chain. The audience erupts with cheers and whistles.
The scene is undoubtedly well-written, but the moment is perplexing. Are they cheering because it’s a good scene, or because of how the man treated the cop? The problem with Metro is that, throughout the film, it’s unclear whether the director wants to glorify chain snatching, or criticise it.
Metro dives deep into the world of chain snatching. We are taken through the finer points of how snatchers target women; how they focus on women in sarees, high heels, and with their hair tied up. We see how gangs recruits young college students, selecting the ones who are in dire need of money. It’s a great premise, but Metro’s execution and cast is a complete disappointment.
Madhi (Sathya)’s story is marred with clichés. He is the quintessential college student who wants to reach beyond the limitations of his middle-class life. He’s tired of taking the bus. He wants a bike, and a KTM Duke at that, which costs Rs. 1.5 lakh. He wants to buy gifts for his girlfriend, who loves all the material things in life.
Then, he sees how easily his friend snatches chains and makes money. And he’s hooked. Although, not before he considers doing an actual job. In an overdone and laughable scene, he acts out his reaction to the idea of actually working. He cries, screams, and bangs his head on the wall.
Most of the film revolves around Madhi, who gets drawn into the mafia. Sathya looks neither menacing when he plots to take down his boss, nor remorseful when he commits a heinous crime. Sirish, who plays a journalist, tries to crack down on these mafia sports with the same morbid expression throughout the film. In one scene, it’s clear that this newcomer is unable to bear the emotional weight of his character.
Bobby Simha, plays the leader of the gang, and by the end of the film, sounds more like a clown than a heartless villain. He shows off his tattoos, drinks and smokes weed, and has two scantily-dressed woman perched on either side. It’s more than likely that in the ‘80s, he might have made a convincing villain. It’s a pity that Simha didn’t take a leaf out of his own performance in Jigarthanda, and figure out how to issue threats that don’t end up sounding like jokes.
Metro faced quite a few issues with the censor board, who thought the film would incite audiences into chain snatching. That is certainly a far-fetched sentiment. But when the interval scene has the criminal strutting over the good guys, with the ‘I’m so kickass’ BGM egging him on, it sends some fairly mixed signals. Given the number of crimes on the streets, Metro is a missed opportunity for the director, who could have handled his subject with more sensitivity and, definitely, a better cast.
The Metro review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.