Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi film 8 AM Metro starring Gulshan Devaiah and Saiyami Kher. The one thing that instantly got my attracted to the film was its title that revealed so much about what the film was about. There is always a special vibe about films being made on two strangers meeting on a public transport. The mood is poetic and it is strange how life can sweep you off your feet when you least expect it. Chance encounters are the most special given that there are only two possibilities to it – either they last for a lifetime or they transform you into a better person(more often than not). Some relationships are best left unsaid, and those make for some great stories. And I was hoping 8 AM Metro would be one of them. So then does 8 AM Metro manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
8 AM Metro follows the story of two strangers crossing paths who strike an unlikely friendship in their process to heal and get back to life. There is a meditative vibe to the drama that does unfold like poetry gurgling its way like a river from the mountains. And the sound of the water crashing against the rocks is what makes the vibe soothing, when you are at peace with where you are in life. That feeling is beyond the realms of this world where your mind is at peace and satisfied with its journey. And this expression is translated beautifully in this drama. The screenplay standing at a shade under 2 hours does make for a compelling watch in what was a beautiful drama for most parts.
The drama does open with the introduction of one of the protagonist who is shown to be happy in her family comprising of her husband and kids. A twist of fate demands her to go and stay with her pregnant sister and this is when we are told about her phobia for trains. Soon, a chance encounter with her stranger changes her life for the better. The drama is set in Hyderabad and like every city, there is a different kind of a charm to this beautiful city. A balance between the old world and the new developing world, the texture to the drama was added by simply the setting.
It is early on indicated that poetry would form the base for the rest of the drama to follow. And almost immediately I was transported to the world of the Hindi film Kuch Bheege Alfaaz which had a similar mood to it. I have always enjoyed poetry and I did feel that it did add a lot of depth and complexity to the unfolding drama. The proceedings are tender and unhurried, something that does allow the viewers to invest in the journey of the two individuals. The drama is layered is many ways and that does add a lot of texture to it. The events and the conversations are beautiful that did transport me to a beautiful sunday afternoon with a hint of rain, a mug of coffee with a book and a pen to immersive myself in the boundaries of the universe. I did enjoy the conversations which did feel so intimate ranging from books to poetry to the philosophy of life that I did not wish to part with the duo both of whom are filled with anxiety and remorse while being broken souls.
The minor criticism that I did have about the film was related to its subplots which did work individually, while disrupting the flow of the main plot. Few things could have been left unsaid around other characters and still it wouldn’t quite have hampered the overall impact of the film. Had the focus just been on the two principal characters without indulging in conversations in the form of subplots with other characters, the impact would have been much greater. Having said that, there are several moments created that do potentially send you in a state of tranquility. And the twist at the end, although predictable was quite well intentioned and it did add a lot of weightage to the already impressive drama. Overall, the screenplay is well written and makes for a calming watch which will just make you pause in life and breathe while appreciating its beauty.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are filled with poetry that add so much value to the drama. They do transcend you in a beautiful zone of trance where you may not want to return back to reality. The music and BGM do blend well with the drama. The cinematography does capture the vibe of Hyderabad wonderfully well. The editing was clean for most of the runtime. Director Raj R does a splendid job in handling a delicate subject with utmost sensitivity. His ability to create moments amidst conversations was wonderful and it made for a splendid watch.
The performances are excellent here. Umesh Kamat as Umesh is endearing and he does have his moments to shine. As does Kalpika Ganesh who is pretty good as Mridula. Nimisha Nair as Riya is outstanding to watch and she is such a natural onscreen. Saiyami Kher as Iravati is wonderfully restrained with a lot of emotions bottled inside her. And this is what made her character complex on paper. But she does a fabulous job in the most charming manner in what was a beautiful performance. Gulshan Devaiah as Pritam is such a fine actor and he delivers a brilliantly nuanced performance which will gently tug the strings of your heart. It was so wonderful to witness the duo indulge in conversations that makes for a wonderful watch.
8 AM Metro is a soothing drama that does unfold like poetry on a rainy Sunday afternoon and makes for a beautiful watch. Available in a theatre near you.