Nobody likes hospitals. Me neither. The frowning faces, the beeping devices, the distracting smell and things of that sort have always been a pest. To set a film in that premise, to create two impacting characters and to make one sit through it. That is surely some feat. Anu Menon does just that in her latest directorial, Waiting.
Most of Waiting is set within the confines of a hospital which begets the charming landscape of Kochi in its background. The film begins and ends at this venue, with its pivotal points rooted here as well. Crossing over the stories of two couples – one young and one old, Menon narrates the moving story of Tara and Shiv, two individuals who are ‘waiting’ for their partners who suffer from a coma. The duo develop a peculiar relationship during their tough time at the hospital, learning and unlearning a ton of truths about life and it’s uncanny surprises.
However strong a script may be, the main box you’ll need to check are the artists who are going to take your story to your audiences. In this context, we have Kalki Koechlin and Naseeruddin Shah, who bowl you over with their standout performances. Kalki as the coming-of-age girl is a revelation, with her impatience and instability hindering her path. Watch out for the opening sequences right after hearing the news about her husband. Much needn’t be said about Naseeruddin Shah, who is an auteur par excellence, being the boss of whatever he does. With these two at the centre, it is Rajat Kapoor who makes a mark as the negative-minded doctor, with an applause to the scene where he teaches his disciple. Waiting also has interesting cameo appearances from Arjun Mathur, Suhasini Mani Ratnam and ‘Koya’ from ‘Premam’.
The icing on the cake are the visuals that the film brings you, where Menon incorporates a fresh new sleeve onto Kochi’s natural scene. Apart from this, the vibrant costumes manage to catch your eye and help making the experience a touch more pleasant.
On the flip-side, the film shifts down in gear towards the end by a bit, losing the momentum which was at a breakneck right from the start. In a dialogue-oriented narrative, it is really important to keep away from repetitions, which lead to monotony. However, a cute little episode between the elder pair will surely bring the smile back to your face.
At an aerial view, Waiting succeeds thanks to its matured writing, neat direction and expectedly solid performances from its leads. Watch it when it comes out, for this is something worth a wait.
Verdict: Engaging, enlightening tale.
3.5 / 5