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Waiting

A retired professor whose wife has been in a coma for eight months meets a terrified young woman, whose husband has slipped into coma after a sudden accident. Will grief drive them both insane, or can two lonely strangers support each other? At the heart of it, ‘Waiting’ is a film about a special relationship between two people who befriend each other unexpectedly in a hospital while nursing their individual spouses in coma. It is a film about grief, yes, but it is also about confronting it. Tenderly and humorously, the film besets you with its central query—what does it really mean to love someone—is it to let go of your beloved in spite of your emotional need for them or is it to unconditionally accept them in whichever shape or form they are. Shiv and Tara, the protagonists of ‘Waiting’ discover that there are no easy answers to the human predicament bound to suffering and grief, unless they shift their own ideas of attachment and love. Finding a foil and a mirror in each other, they tumble together on this journey of their inner transformation, even as their world is falling apart externally.

Shiv Natraj (played by Naseeruddin Shah) is a 64-year-old retired Philosophy Professor, withdrawn and wry, while Tara Kapoor (played by Kalki Loechlin) is a 26-year-old city slicker who thrives, even revels in its fast pace. While Shiv is cerebral, averse to drama and seemingly balanced, Tara erupts easily, and lapses into irreverent speech frequently. Unlikely companions otherwise, Shiv and Tara become kindred spirits, united into a bubble of special sorrow, which then soon bursts as they slip into their individual webs of fears and weaknesses.

Confronted with grief in all its different stages, they are pushed to re-examine their individual ideas of love and attachment, with their inner conflicts playing up against the dark and mysterious Cochin backwaters. The story is told light heartedly, filled with banter and insight, making the drama instantly accessible and engaging.

Director:Anu Menon

Producers:Manish Mundra and Priti Gupta

Cast:Naseeruddin Shah, Kalki Koechlin, Rajat Kapoor, Suhasini Maniratnam, Arjun Mathur

Duration:105 mins

Year:2014/2015

Language:Hindi, English

Genre:Drama

London Asian Film Festival 2016:Best Director