After ten years absence Toni, Chris's best friend, suddenly reappears in London to bring chaos and doubt into Chris's calm, tranquil, slightly boring, predictable life. Chris starts to remember his carefree youth as a photographer in Paris when he lived with and enjoyed a torrid affair with Annick. It was also in Paris that he first met and fell in love with Marion. The temptations and pressure exerted on Chris by Toni to return to their former carefree life of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll soon starts to have an impact on Chris's marriage. He starts to question his values, his lifestyle choices and his relationship with Marion and even suspects her of starting an affair with Toni whom she dislikes! Eventually circumstances come to a head and Chris is forced to decide whether to follow Toni back to the hedonistic, irresponsible life of his youth or face the harsh realities of the present and stay with Marion.
Ive just read the book so I thought I'd check out the movie too. While the movie decent and has the main plot concept; it's missing the charm and something else. Also Christian Bale is a really weird choice for the lead.
Being nostalgic for a 70s I wasn't alive during, I am an easy target for these well-dressed, tinted-photograph London pieces, though I imagine this story of young marital discontent and internal class struggle worked better as a book. There are a lot of nice moments, and it's a good early showcase for Christian Bale and Emily Watson being all attractive and good at their jobs, but it's a little hollower than it should be overall, with the punk-rock element ringing particularly false and most of the characters too loosely drawn to engage with. An attractive, promising movie from a director who usually seems to stick to nichey, educational television work.
The plot of Metroland certainly isn’t original. A former free spirit now lives a life he swore against in his youth, a life of complacency and conformity, and is reminded of his previous lifestyle when his current one is questioned by a friend from his past. He begins to wrestle with the thought, “did I make the right choices?” in the present while the film jumps back to the past. Trite, yes, so it is a credit to its cast that the film manages to work well enough.
Christian Bale’s Chris is at odds with himself as we all have been or will one day be. Am I happy? Were the choices I’ve made in my life that have lead…