Director: Anu Menon
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Kalki Koechlin, Arjun Mathur, Rajat Kapoor
Away from the sprawling high-rises in metro cities, there lays a place called ‘Real India’. Have we ever thought of the lengths people could go to save the ones they love? Certainly not! With baseless erotic entertainers and no brainers minting money with their old wine in new bottle techniques, filmmakers have left behind the true essence of India in cinema. Gone are the days when cinema used to be the medium of portraying real emotions. It is surprising that such a soothing and touching tale would come from one-film-old director Anu Menon in her film Waiting.
Shiv (Naseeruddin Shah), lives in the city of Kochi with his wife Pankaja (Suhasini Maniratnam). The old couple spend their retired life enjoying each other’s company when Pankaja unfortunately suffers from a massive stoke and goes into a coma. Tara (Kalki Koechlin), a free spirited girl with a modern approach to life and an atheist, who elopes with her boyfriend Rajat (Arjun Mathur) and marries him in a secret ceremony. On his way to an office trip, Rajat has a major accident and goes into a coma.
It is at the waiting room of the hospital, that Tara meets Shiv and thus beginning their emotional journey to self discovery. In the coarse of time, Shiv and Tara seeks each other’s help and become friends. Will Shiv and Tara be able to overcome the fear of loosing their loved one? This is what you have to watch 'Waiting' for.
I thoroughly enjoyed the film, but there are a few special scenes that shines bright in this gloomy tale. The argument of Shiv and Tara towards the intermission is so natural and relatable. When Kalki chants “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” (a Buddhist chant) holding Rajat’s hands just shakes you to your core. Flashes of Tara and Rajat’s intimate moments are so adorable that it gives you a peek into the life of a newly married couple.
'Waiting' is a refreshing subject that is engaging enough right up till its open ended climax. Director Anu Menon’s 100 minute feature presentation is rich in its luminous performances and subtle vision to a sensitive issue. Anu Menon, who made her directorial debut with Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao Hydari starrer 'London Paris New York', is surely back with her unconventional way of handling a subject. She has marked her came back after a 4 year break with this heart touching film.
Naseeruddin Shah did a commendable job as a helpless loving old husband. On the other hand, Kalki Koechlin touches the ground reality of her character- a newly wed wife who is trying several ways to save her husband. Rajat Kapoor as a stern doctor steals the show in his small yet powerful role. Arjun Mathur looks adorable and has a pleasant on-screen presence. Tamil actress Suhasini Manirantnam did a noticeable job as a jealous yet loving wife.
Dialogues by Atika Chohan are so relatable especially few conversations of Naseeruddin Shah and Kalki. Screenplay by Anu Menon, Atika Chohan and James Ruzicka is the backbone of the film. The characters of the film live with you till the last frame. The interesting part of Waiting is its edit, Apurva Asrani and Nitin Baid made this 1 hr 40 minutes worth watching.
From the backwaters to the wide lush green roads, Neha Parti Matiyani beautifully captures the beautiful city of Kochi. Post making a love story like 'London Paris New York', director Anu Menon has surely surprises the audience with this hard hitting yet emotional film.
If you are willing to watch a sensible film with soul, 'Waiting' is definitely a good pick this weekend!