WAITING is a movie about loss, grief and the human need for emotional attachment. As correctly termed by the veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah, “Waiting” is not for the audience, who whistle in the movies of Bollywood superstars Salman and Shah Rukh Khan.
“It is a simple, sober, sweet and true film written and made by heart. I think no other formula than this can make a film successful. I believe this film will touch everyone’s heart.”
“Audience, who whistle at or watch Salman and Shah Rukh Khan’s films, ‘Waiting’ is not for them. But, thankfully there is a set of audience, who enjoy or like such films,” Shah said in an interview.
“Waiting” is Menon’s second feature film after “London, Paris, New York,” and praising the young brigade of filmmakers Shah said he always had good experiences with new directors.
Review: The two principal characters, both at the receiving end of the cruel vagaries of destiny, dangle between positivity and fatalism as they hope for a miracle to put them out of their misery.
Waiting hinges on the unlikely bond that develops between a retired Kochi professor and a young Mumbai woman who are yoked together by a tragic turn of events and compelled to view existence in a new light.
It is eight months since the professor’s comatose wife was put on life support in a hospital.
The newly married woman’s husband, on the other hand, has just been wheeled into the same medical facility.
He has serious head injuries sustained in a road accident during an official business tour.
The anguished duo spends hours in the hospital’s waiting room and seeks solace in each other’s company even as they get into violent arguments over the fate of their respective spouses.
The man, Shiv Natraj (Naseeruddin Shah), has been married for 40 years and is determined to ensure that his wife Pankaja (Suhasini Maniratnam) gets a new lease of life.
The woman, Tara Kapoor-Deshpande (Kalki Koechlin), married for only six months “and a day”, is understandably equally desperate to see her sports-loving husband Rajat (Arjun Mathur) come out of the ordeal in one piece.
Both Shiv and Tara, who strike up an easy friendship and have good-natured digs at each other, have serious issues with the hospital’s doctors.
Waiting is elevated several notches by the two central performances. Naseeruddin Shah, effortless and characteristically effective, is an epitome of Zen master-like poise.
He moves from sorrow to hope and from anger to cheerfulness with minimum visible effort, which, of course, is par for the course for the seasoned actor.
Kalki Koechlin, in the garb of a far more temperamental figure, provides the ideal foil, adding immensely to the emotional depth of the tale and heightening the conflict between two unlike poles.