Naseeruddin Shah's 'Waiting' movie review is out

Directed by: Anu Menon
Produced by: Priti Gupta and Manish Mundra
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Kalki Koechlin
Duration: 1 hours 38 minute
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 4/5


First things first, a huge round of applause for Anu Menon, and her team of writers, because films based on conversations between a few characters are a big challenge to write and film. The second round of applause for the lead actors, Naseeruddin Shah, Kalki Koechlin, Rajat Kapoor, and a special mention for Rajeev Ravindranathan. ‘Waiting‘ is one of those rare cinematic gems which showcases the dance of death with the underplayed music of humour and mirth. If you’ve watched the trailer of ‘Waiting,’ you already know what it has in store for you – a newly married wife is on the verge of losing her husband, and an old man, married for forty years fighting for the life of his wife who is in coma for about eight months.

Director Anu Menon doesn’t keep you waiting for things to unfold, she establishes both her main characters, Shiv Kumar (Naseeruddin Shah) and Tara (Kalki) swiftly, and jumps into the meat of her story. Depending on your age and life experiences you immediately connect with either of the two characters, and quickly get invested in one of their stories. Shiv Kumar is battling for his wife’s life, while Tara is still in a state of shock after she first sees her beloved husband after he meets with a terrible road accident. Thanks to strange circumstances, Shiv becomes Tara’s friend that she never ever had. She meets him for the first time at the hospital in Kochi where her husband is admitted, and they just happen to bond, because life’s like that.


The equation between Shiv and Tara is not like father-daughter, they are more like friends we have in real life, but for the age gap. This itself is a huge victory for the filmmaker, because if not done correctly, it could turn out a little too creepy. Shiv and Tara have many conversations throughout the film, just like how real friends do – they humour each other, get angry, scream and shout, and then amicably drink and dance to good music. Death or even the face of it, nobody expects, especially not to our own selves – it only happens to others. But when life pulls out a fast one on you, what do you do? Especially, when you are least prepared for it. At such times, every Tara needs a Shiv, and vice versa. And then there is the evil doctor, who wants to rob you of all your money.

Rajat Kapoor plays the role of the senior doctor who is treating both, Shiv’s wife (Suhasini Mani Ratnam) and Tara’s husband (Arjun Mathur). He perhaps has one of the most difficult jobs in the world, like all doctors have, who take a final call on the patient’s treatment. Other than Shiv and Tara, ‘Waiting’ also highlights the plights of doctors who have to deal with the kith and kin of patients who are fighting for their lives, and have almost reached their death beds. This film is such a wonderful-yet-scary-yet-funny sneak-peek into the most morbid reality of our lives – death. Wisdom, philosophy, beliefs and general sanity takes a drastic turn when you are at the receiving end of it. Also, in the world of social media, where are your friends when you need them the most?

‘Waiting’ takes a jibe at social media as well – What’s the point of it all? You might have thousands of friends and followers, but in real life, you need that one friend who you can hug, and feel light, even if only for a few fleeting moments, in your toughest and most miserable circumstances. Anu Menon’s ‘Waiting’ is one film that you should make time for, as it is a handy guide in dealing with personal tragedy, even if you think you are the most invincible human being on earth. Death could happen to anyone of us, or to our near and dear ones, and it could be so random. Another lesson you could learn from this film is – be nice to people like those in your life who are nice to you without a reason, watch out for the super nice character played by Rajeev Ravindranathan, and you’ll know why!

‘Waiting’ is a potent story with relatable characters, essayed by amazing actors! Who knew a morbid topic like death could be this entertaining – just like how they say a good film should be!