Metro (June 2016), a brutally honest Tamil film by Anandkrishnan, has the backdrop of chain-snatching, which is so much prevalent in almost all urban areas. The film is a brilliant effort to project nexus behind chain snatching business, how gold moves through the black market, and also how chain snatching affects the doers and their families.
Arivazhagan (Shirish) is employed with a magazine, blessed with wonderful parents and has a brother Madhi (Sathya). Madhi, a college student, is eager to get rid of his middle class life. He wants all high-profile luxuries in his life, be it KTM bike or I-phone or Apple laptop. Arivazhagan, though struggles to arrange finance, is even ready to take loan to fulfill his brother’s desires. But Madhi having no patience to wait, falls prey to earning money through short cuts, he gets easily lured by the latest gadgets / sports bike of his classmate. Madhi wants to win over his girl friend who constantly nags him to have a bike of his own for their rides. The frustrated and vulnerable Madhi enters into the nexus of gold snatchers with the help of his classmate. Once he tastes ‘success’ with quick money, he gets more vulnerable, arrogant. Bobby Simha leads the chain-snatching gang (almost all of them being college students). Rest of the film deals with how Madhi moves ahead with his unstoppable spree of buying luxurious things and enjoys quick money. But does the story stop here? No, it shows, to what extent, people like Madhi can stoop down to fulfill their desires through dubious and unethical means putting his education, life, family and dear ones everything at stake.
Why I chose this film to discuss here is because of antagonist Madhi being a college student. In today’s era, technology and advanced media have indeed resulted in lot of developments, but the same has also created an illusionary world that appears to be true and easily accessible. It appears that projection of material gains is the most important medium of achieving pleasures, and values get buried under commercialization. Children not getting attuned to accept ‘No’ i.e. rejections (parents out of love for their children end up fulfilling their every demand) grow up to be youths with highly insensitive personality. College students like Madhi end up comparing their status with the rest. And, if a ‘so-called-love affair’ happens, they want not to feel belittled by not having new gadgets, vehicles etc. which ultimately turns out to be a prestige issue. Metro delves deeply into the frustrations of a college student Madhi, when he has to face delay in getting his demand fulfilled, his vulnerability and impatience to have all the latest luxury items in his kitty.
Metro, a very good film (a word of caution: Violence is there), prompts us to think: Isn’t it important for kids to be trained to even accept ‘No’ for their demands? Food for thought for y-gen youth is that it is not wrong to aspire for conveniences, luxuries of life, but falling prey to the glitters, becoming vulnerable is the most dangerous thing that can happen. Earn everything what you aspire through right and ethical means.
Note: I wrote this article originally for City Scroll; Theme ‘College’.