MOVIE REVIEW ...
THE WAITING CITY
India’s stark natural and man-made beauty has appeared in multiple films. Easy to see why as its varied social demographic has given different dynamics to many genres. The Waiting City is an interesting addition mixing the culture and history of the land in a story about strengthening relationships.
Married couple Fiona (Radha Mitchell) and Ben (Joel Edgerton) are about to adopt an Indian baby girl. Arriving in Calcutta to collect her, bureaucratic red tape delays their meeting. Biding their time, they explore the Indian locales in order to learn more about their new daughter’s background. With the help of hotel worker Krishna (Samrat Chakrabarti), they come to understand some of their marital issues and begin a personal transformation as they attempt to lift the weight of expectations and become ready for their role as expectant parents.
The Waiting City portrays how doubt can play havoc with people’s confidence as the couple’s inner demons arise when they begin to doubt their parental readiness. This unearths long held secrets which threaten to tear them apart forcing them to question why they are together. Although these issues are quite interesting, the remote nature of the characters prevents any full engagement. With Fiona’s rigid workaholic to Ben’s carefree musician, you wonder how they ever became a couple such is their lack of chemistry. Whilst Mitchell and Edgerton do what they can the crucial sense of context leading to their character’s fractured mind-set is missing.
The Indian locations add to a central story focussing on its traditions and religious beliefs. This subtext thankfully isn’t lost as events move through its streets careful not to turn into a glorified travelogue. Showing the poverty as well as its splendour it highlights the feelings of pride the locals of all walks of life display which rubs off onto the lead characters. Having to create their own belief system to conquer the obstacles they encounter alleviates the lack of emotional pull from which the film suffers.
Although its screenplay is less impactful than it should be, The Waiting City’s arresting cinematography is certainly memorable. Maybe this is why India has been a magnet for film-makers as its diversity creates any type of mood which this film mostly utilises in its tale in gaining the confidence needed to make the next important personal step.
Movie Review Rating 6 / 10
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
The Waiting City released in Australia on Thursday 15 July 2010.
If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review The Waiting City
Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.