Director: Ananda Krishnan
Cast: Bobby Simha, Shirish, Sathya
You know there’s a point to Metro the moment you come upon its Dickensian plot, and the gang leader and his band of thieves perpetuating it. Bobby Simha’s Guna is every inch that villain, emerging ever so often out of the shadowy confines of a smoke-filled chamber – red lighting accentuating the evil in him.
Simha returns to his villainous ways after his comic-romantic role in Bangalore Naatkal. There was an Iraivi between these two, where Simha is all dark.
Guna’s boys are chain-snatchers in Chennai, and their plans are carefully drawn by the boss. A child dies and a woman is seriously injured as the motorcycle-borne snatchers pounce on unwary victims. The movie, as director Ananda Krishnan said, is inspired by actual events that shook the metropolis some years ago. But Guna’s blueprints are so foolproof that his boys remain elusive, and completely out of reach of the law.
One of Guna’s boys is Mathi (essayed by Sathya) – whose family of a loving mother, a retired policeman-father and a journalist elder brother (called Arivu, played by debutant Shirish) remains blissfully unaware of what he has turned into.
Mathi stepped out on the road due to a variety of factors – he was bored of his middle-class existence; his girlfriend had egged him on to buy an expensive motorbike; and he was unable to self-exorcise the ghost of consumerism that was rapidly gobbling him up. The restive youngster’s greed gets the better of him, pushing him into committing unimaginable crimes and eventually turning him into a murderous traitor.
Although Metro is violent in parts – with the opening sequence showing Arivu bashing a man into virtual pulp – Krishnan shows admirable restraint while telling a story with such a brutal subtext. As women would tell us, it is awfully painful to have a chain snatched off the neck – leave alone the trauma and anger that follow.
Metro, with a stylishly captivating Simha and individual performances that don’t tip overboard into melodrama, is one of the better Tamil movies to have emerged in recent months. As a document of a serious malady that affects our consumerist society, it is certainly worth a watch this weekend.
Just as long as you leave your children home, that is.
Follow @htshowbiz for more