Waiting - Review

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

As much about D-day as it is about the smaller things that keep us going. A sweet DVD/TV watch when its out.



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Wogma Review

As morbid as it sounds, I have instructions on what's to be done if I meet with an accident if I were to go into a coma. Exactly, for the reasons that Waiting ponders over – there is no right or wrong when you are at a point to choose between keeping hope alive and letting go. Waiting takes on both sides without making it heavy-handed or too emotional either. That does create a distance between the audience and the characters but it works for the film. Anything else would have run into the danger of going into cliché territory.

For example, you don't know much about Tara (Kalki Koechlin) or Shiv's (Naseeruddin Shah) relationships with their spouses. You are given glimpses here and there but not enough to make you feel like you knew it. It is more like a given. This causes the distance but if they were to pick the standard montage of sweet 'moments', it would take Waiting into 'typical' category. Else, they would have to spend a lot of time in exposition.

I will take a little disconnect till they figure out a newer way of telling us how good it was for the two couples. They are all regular people who have expected reactions to unexpected situations. No one gets extra character development or such. Interestingly though, a good and important introduction time is used for Tara's feminist side. We don't see that put to use anywhere? Why was it there then? To show us she speaks her mind? Well, we got that and Shiv elaborates on it too. Unfortunately, it comes across as a gimmick to shock.

Beyond that, in it's own sweet-yet-dull sort of a way, Waiting is not out there to create any great impact. There is no “coming-of-age”, there is no big reveal, no attempt at drama. That is why it stands out. A film about death and no drama!

In its larger scheme the film might be about death and dilemmas around it. But, it is also a subtler comment on other life philosophies – every person has to fight their own fight; loners who hate people need company too; fate isn't fair. A dash about our distrust of the medical system is thrown in too.

And then you have the more spelled out ones which I wish had taken a subtler route - like the stages of grief which read out like its Wikipedia page. No, Naseeruddin Shah as reader doesn't help.

Both lead actors are wonderful though, their chemistry feels very real. They are one of the main reasons, the film took me out of 'review' mode and made me forget I was watching a film. That and the soft tone, the smooth texture of the film. Unfortunately, some of the other elements reminded me back into the film world. like Tara's husband's colleague, Girish seemed like a caricature or Tara and Shiv's decisions didn't seem to flow with the pace of the film.

These are little things that take away from Waiting. They make a film that I loved watching while I was watching it not keeping with me for too long after.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Language: Lots of abusive language
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A few lip-to-lips.
  • Concept: The decisions that dear ones have to make when a person goes into coma.
  • General Look and Feel: Hospital white. Something very sanitary and yet ominous about it.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3
  • Story: 3.5
  • Lead Actors: 4
  • Character Artists: 3.5
  • Dialogues: 3
  • Screenplay: 3
  • Music Director: 3
  • Lyrics: 3

Waiting - Movie Details

Waiting - Trailer

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Comments (9)

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Whoever said that watching films on holidays/vacation is banned?


Just joking. Enjoy your holidays.


@Fan ha ha ha ha ha...actually have done that on some holidays. You wouldn't know though, would you? ;)

This once, Most likely no theaters in the place I am going to :D


Is this another one of those little pictures Naseeruddin Shah does between blockbusters, like Ishqiya...?


@TimELiebe Yep!

Arati Thakur:

Loved the movie, music, the actors portrayed the roles perfectly. Great Job!


After watching the film I am left with a mixed feeling - was it a great film or was it alright. I will settle for alright, even though the first half of the film had me completely immersed into the story and the lives of the two main characters.

Where they lost me was the second half - with the same "waiting" game continuing without any feeling of progressing. I suppose it is part and parcel of the film, to make the audience realize how mundane and dreary the things get once one comes to terms with the reality.

Performances are top notch from Naseeruddin Shah and Kalki.

The subject treated is also nice, how an individual (or individuals) come to terms between the love of a dear + near one; AND the commercial nature of medical care providers (corporate hospitals and insurances). Even though the film was careful to not show explicitly the pure business approach of the doctors and hospitals, as an audience we can connect very well to the fact that the people who are supposed to care for us are taking the maximum advantage of the situation to further their economic goals.

Welcome change to see Kochi (Cochin) as the base of the film instead of the regular Mumbai setting. Would have expected / loved to see a sunset kind of scene along the coast - a la Anand (Kahin Door Jab Din Dhal Jaaye) with the leading character in a reflective mood.

Overall a nice soft watch, even though could get a bit repetitive in the second half. The "A" certificate is awarded most probably because of too much use of f**k and d**k in the dialogues, plus a last minute sprinkling of a few lip to lip.


Couldn't help sharing this anecdote that happened to me today.

An acquaintance's close family member is recently admitted to hospital and is currently in critical condition. Hopefully things will improve soon. When I enquired the health of the patient, he told me that the doctors have said that the next 48 hours are critical. If nothing serious happens in the next 48 hours then the danger would be over.


Those who have watched the film will know why I have shared this anecdote here.


@Fan Hope all's well. Yeah, that is when the waiting begins.


@Meeta: yes, all's well. Thanks for your concern. I made the remark more for the "next 48 hours" part. I had not realized that it is so common amongst the medical fraternity. I had to suppress the smile when they used the words "next 48 hours are critical".

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