Waiting Review by Saibal Chatterjee on NDTVMovies
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. The cameos by Rajat Kapoor, Suhasini Maniratnam, Arjun Mathur and Ratnabali Bhattacharjee are no less impactful. One supporting actor who stands out is Rajeev Ravindranathan as Girish, the simple-minded but helpful guy from the Kochi office of the female protagonist’s husband. It’s an intelligently written role and the actor does full justice to it. Kudos are also due to director Anu Menon for creating an authentic Kochi milieu with the aid of minor characters who nail the local accent without turning into caricatures. Waiting is beautiful and believable, a well-chiselled marvel that is watchable all the way.
Waiting Review by Sweta Kaushal on Hindustan Times
Packaged with Naseeruddin as the adorable old man struggling to understand a younger generation and Kalki as the charming young, energetic woman, Waiting is a delight. Powerful performances and a realistic approach make this a film you’d want to watch.
Waiting Review by Mohar Basu on The Times Of India
It is commendable that director Anu Menon has whipped up a warm tale about love, loss and surviving life’s catastrophic blows, with such simplicity. Her lead characters – Shiv and Tara – have nothing in common. Menon plays on their generation gap to offer some genuine smiles. He can’t utter the ‘F’ word. She is brash but awkwardly loving. His coping device is faith; hers is shopping. And yet, the two bond over the vital stats of their spouses.
Waiting Review by Rohit Bhatnagar on Deccan Chronicle
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.
Waiting Review by Moumita bhattacharjee on Bollywood Life
Unfortunately, the scenes you see in the trailer are the only highs of this film. It lacks drama or touch of sentiments. It’s a witty way of tackling grief but you will hardly feel the sorrow. The screenplay is so flat that it becomes tedious to watch after sometime. The humour also becomes repetitive after a few instances and emotions lack depth. Apart from a few scenes which are far and in between, the film struggles to hold your attention. Naseeruddin Shah’s confession to his comatose wife about him straying at one instance made no sense or Kalki’s outburst when she feels, for her friend she isn’t the topmost priority. The friend is married with a kid, what did you expect? What to do? Waiting deserves to be seen only for the stellar performances by Shah and Kalki. Rest is forgettable
Review by Shubhra Gupta on Indian Express
A couple of the supporting acts are solid. As the good friend who arrives to hold Kalki’s anguished hand, Ratnabali Bhattacharjee stands out, as does Rajiv Rajendranath as the sincere, helpful colleague of the injured husband. Kalki is a persuasive performer, making us watch, even if she comes off abrupt and forced in bits but that’s more to do with the way the part has been written. That’s something we can say for the plotting overall, which feels simultaneously underdeveloped and overwritten. Naseer comes off best, and that figures because he has the most life experience. He brings a quiet dignity and heart-breaking resilience to a man who has walked alongside his companion – theirs has been a marriage of companionship and abiding affection– for a long time, and who doesn’t want to let her go.
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
The two characters are so different to each other, their interaction teaches us so much about ourselves. The supporting cast – the irritatingly ‘stay positive’ girlfriend, the concerned office colleague who cares but is socially awkward, the doctor who seems very detached from his patients, the neighbor who sends food, family members who don’t understand – are all so wonderful you nod your head in the darkness of the theater when you watch them on screen. You know people who are exactly that. You understand the frustration of the lead character Kalki who says, ‘I have thousands of followers on Twitter and hundreds of friends on Facebook, but I am here alone.’ This may not earn hundreds of crores on the box office. But it charms you with its quiet elegance.
Waiting Review by Indiaglitz
These scenes are highlight of the first half which is engaging as well as entertaining. Sadly, in comparison to the first half, the second half drags with unwanted and repetitive scenes. The story narration slows down and has very less to offer. The open ending climax leaves you with bad taste in mouth. The usage of foul language fails to gel with the film. The bonding between Naseeruddin and Kalki loses its charm in the finale portions of the film. ‘Waiting’ is lengthy due to its slow narration, but at the same time is quite refreshing in terms of performances and the theme of the film. The movie had all the possibilities to end up as one fine cinema, but settles down to being a fair attempt.
Review by Shubha Shetty Saha on Mid-Day India
what doesn’t work for the film is that the story keeps itself restricted to the two lead characters and their issues. As most of us, who have been there and done that, are aware, a waiting room is where million traumatic tales and stories of hope unfold. Those stories in the periphery would have given a lot of depth to the central story. Unfortunately, Menon, the writer-director and other writers makes it too sanitised and elitist, thus depriving it of the depth that it could have achieved.
Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
Director Anu Menon has done a great job of keeping the film away from the trappings of commercialism and has focused on making a genuine and warm story, which touches your heart. The film has no item songs, no action scenes and no larger-than-life dialogues and yet it has the potential to keep you glued to your seat without provoking a glance at your wrist-watch. Though the film might bring to mind Lost In Translation, Waiting is in a league of its own for sure.
Review by Martin D’Souza on Glamsham
The dialogues that stitch the film together are the soul of the film apart from the very realistic portrayal of their respective characters played by Shah and Koelchin. Both are terrific, nay, they gob-smack you with their handling of emotions which oscillates from the sane to insane! Their losing sanity for a brief moment, then getting clinical, to wondering where life has got them to and their dealing with the situation leaves you wide-eyed with amazement in the manner with which they sync to the plot.
Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror
Director Anu Menon has the tenacity of a Sofia Coppola to produce frames where not much happens but one is unable to look away. You’re even drawn to the micro gestures: a flicker of an eyelid as a tear drop leaves a trail down the face or even a hand sliding over another. Naseeruddin Shah, who has admitted on occasion, that if he has done films like Tridev or more recently, a Welcome Back or Teraa Surroor, the motivation comes in the form of a cheque. But here, a lot more drives his character. Naseer’s Shiv is relentless, resolute and refreshingly irreverent. But this film belongs to Kalki, who impresses by managing to wordlessly convey her character’s state of mind in every scene.
Review by IANS on Zeenews
Though outwardly the grim tale is swathed in somberness, miraculously Ms. Menon bathes the two main characters’ irredeemably depressing predicament in a dip of sunshine. A lot of the positivity that the film exudes has to do with the two principal performances. Kalki, with her rebellious mood swings and defiant attitude to destiny, makes the traumatized young wife’s role so vivid and vibrant, you just want to hug her and calm her down. Provided she doesn’t sock you in the crotch for stepping the line. And what better antidote to hysteria than Naseeruddin Shah? Sagacious and so gracious in his suffering he brings to his role of the bereaved husband the kind of intrinsic tranquility that only the wisest possess. There are also some very interesting peripheral characters and performances. Ratnabali Bhattacharjee as Kalki’s best friend who is caring and concerned but has her own life to live. Rajat Kapoor as a pragmatic, sometimes-ruthless doctor is excellent, though you do wonder if there are more doctors in the vast hospital.
Review by Sukanya Verma on Rediff
Director Anu Menon’s Waiting, a tender tale of love and letting go, recognizes this largely neglected sentiment and builds its premise around two strangers bonded by despair.
Review by Harshada Rege on DNA India
The second half of the movie is rather long with the narrative becoming slightly stagnant. The writing wears thin in parts here. The movie does require you to be patient, but it’s a rewarding experience. Watch this sensitive tale for Naseer and Kalki’s brilliant performances.
Review by Rajeev Masand on News18
Yet Waiting feels longer than its roughly 90 minutes running time. Good thing we’re in the hands of such exceptional actors, you’re willing to stay with them even when the script stops being interesting. Naseer brings a whole lifetime of experience to his performance. He’s real, and in-the-moment, and doesn’t miss a beat. Your heart goes out to this man who’s unable to pull the plug on the companion he’s spent the best years of his life with. Kalki, meanwhile, succeeds in endearing you to Tara despite her brash nature. Aside from a few clunky bits – which has more to do with the uneven shifting between English and Hindi – she gets the part just right, and makes the character’s journey in the film entirely credible.
Review by meeta on Wogma
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.
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