Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and a half stars)
Star Cast: Kalki Koechlin, Naseeruddin Shah, Rajat Kapoor, Arjun Mathur, Suhasini Maniratnam
Director: Anu Menon
What’s Good: How beautifully an emotional story is conveyed minus forced drama or tear-jerking content!
What’s Bad: A better work with the cinematography could have been good since the movie hardly moves beyond the hospital scenes, keeping Cochin’s beauty at bay.
Loo Break: It can wait!
Watch or Not?: Waiting is a clear sign of mint-fresh direction. Lovable and relatable characters etched into a fine story makes this one a great slice of a life film!
Tara (Kalki Koechlin) and Rajat (Arjun Mathur) are newly weds whose life seems picture perfect until Rajat meets with a deadly car accident. With a severe head injury, Rajat goes into coma, leaving his wife Tara with some big decisions of their future.
In Cochin’s state of the art hospital, Tara meets Shiv (Naseeruddin Shah), whose wife too, is in a comatose state since eight months. After a marriage spanning over 40 years, Shiv is determined to wait for his wife to get back to life.
The two strangers soon befriend each other and try to make the best of their lives by helping one another.
Waiting Review: Script Analysis
Anu Menon’s Waiting is subtly poignant and extremely witty when it comes to the script. With comic elements used in the form of irony, one instantly realises how clever the script is.
Generation gap is quite aptly portrayed between the two lead characters. So, while Shiv is a professor and is well-read on medical journals, he has no clue what Twitter is. Tara on the other hand, is a spunky girl whose reaction to Shiv’s 40 year marriage is ‘Fu*k’.
What gives this story a touch of realism, is the character detailing. How Shiv whom Tara considers ‘Zen’ is also vulnerable and tends to lose his cool when it comes to facing the ultimate reality of life & death.
The supporting characters too, are built with great intelligence, so on one hand you have a Doctor who knows he is not God but he often has to step into God’s shoes for his patients.
Also Girish, who is Rajat’s office colleague is a goofy character but extremely real.
Particular scenes such as the one where Shiv explains to Tara the different stages that her grief will go through over time are brilliantly written.
There is a minor detour to the story with Shiv’s character revealing a secret in the second half and that is enough to convey to the viewers why the man desperately wants his wife to gain consciousness.
Overall, the script’s light nature keeps you hooked to the screen.
Waiting Review: Star Performance
Kalki Koechlin wins you over with her highly expressive performance. She slips into Tara’s character with much ease.
Naseeruddin Shah does a great job as the otherwise calm Shiv, who is internally broken. He makes the film look easy on the eyes with the graceful act.
Rajat Kapoor as Dr. Malhotra makes an effective supporting character. He excels in the scene where he teaches a junior doctor on how to break a bad news to the patient.
Rajiv Ravindranathan puts life into a small role of Girish.
Waiting Review: Direction, Music
In spite of dealing with a topic like longing and losing one’s loved ones, Waiting does not have a single gloomy moment in the film.
Shot in the hospital for majority of the film, the bright lighting along with a mellow theme, Menon makes sure that the film revolving around death looks much alive with its execution.
I just wished that being set in Cochin, the camera could have explored a little more with its locations. A few scenes such as the one where Tara and Shiv have a dine at his place, could have been easily avoided.
Music finds its place in the situations and is quite aptly presented.
A tight editing keeps this film at a sufficient run time of an hour and fourty minutes which is more than enough.
Waiting Review: The Last Word
Waiting is a delightful film that breaks the norms of soppy emotional dramas to present something real. For the stellar performances by Kalki and Naseerduddin Shah, I am going with a 3.5/5 for the film.
Waiting releases on 27th May, 2016.
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