Synopsis: A journalist goes after a chain-snatching gang who had killed his mother, and discovers a shocking truth.
Review: The opening and closing shots of Metro are that of the concrete jungle that is Chennai. In the beginning, we see a young man walking into a rundown building (the kind of building that Ananda Krishnan's previously film Aal had in plenty), where he interrogates a man in a violent manner. After learning what he wanted to, he tells his friend that they should follow the gold trail and that will lead them to who or what they are after.
This gritty set-up sets the tone for Metro, an unflinchingly violent crime thriller, that holds our attention for the backdrop against which Ananda Krishnan has set it against. The director gives us a peek into the world of chain-snatching and shows us the trail of the gold. However, his plot is no different from that of a routine action film — guy who loses someone close goes on a revenge spree. In fact, the film brings to mind Suseenthiran's Paayum Puli (swap chain-snatching with extortions) and Walter Vetrivel (a family destroyed by one of its members who is a bad egg). As Ananda Krishnan dives into the plot, we learn that the men we saw in the first scene are Arivazhagan and Kumar, a journalist and a photographer respectively. The film cuts to the past to show us how Arivazhagan's life was a few months earlier — middle-class vaazhkai high-class santhosham.
His father is a retired constable, and his loving mother (Thulasi) is the family's beating heart. His younger brother Mathiazhagan (Sathya) is not content with their simplistic existence, and egged on by his demanding girlfriend, wants to lead a high-flying life. Seeing this urge of Mathi, his classmate Ganesh (Nishanth) takes him to Guna (Bobby Simhaa), who is the brain behind all the chain-snatching crimes in the city. Mathi is entranced and stars living the life he has only dreamed so far, but soon, he becomes more daring and ruthless, hardly realising the price he has to pay for his ambitions.
We are always drawn to crime stories because of our voyeuristic side. This is why we cannot help reading a crime report in the newspaper, or watching a crime show on TV. And this is the reason why we are glued to what happens next in Metro. The characters are largely one-note, the performances need finesse, and the writing some tautness, but Ananda Krishnan makes up for these drawbacks with gritty filmmaking (as in Aal, once again, NS Uthaya Kumar's cinematography is a highlight), a single-minded plot that sustains the mood (we are, thankfully, spared a romantic track), but most of all, by presenting us a world of hardened criminals that is believable and fearsome.