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Believing actor and goodwill ambassador Shah Rukh Khan can help her brother get an operation to restore his sight, a 10-year old girl takes her blind 8-year old brother on a trek across Rajasthan in search of the superstar.
An unlikely love triangle unfolds when married professor, Shyam, has an illicit affair with his student, Sandhya, who in turn is trying to be wooed by her classmate Kamal. Haraamkhor is a prohibited love story witnessed by two adolescents.
Newlywed Tara Deshpande receives the horrifying news that her husband has been involved in a car accident and is lying comatose in a hospital in Kochi. At the same hospital, Shiv Kumar diligently visits his wife of forty years who has been in a coma for the past eight months. Tara and Shiv are two very different people, but their similar situations draw them together. The two unlikely friends share their griefs and hopes.Written by
With echoes of Pedro Almodovar's 'Hable con ella- Talk to her' portraying two people connecting while their spouses are in coma, 'Waiting' can easily be the best film I saw in 2015. The complex ethical and moral dilemmas imaginatively depicted in 'Waiting' are made accessible to the viewer through excellent direction by Anu Menon, heartfelt acting from Naseeruddin Shah, Kalki Koechlin, and Rajat Kappor, tight editing by Niitn Baid and Apurva Asrani, and a haunting music score by Mikey McLeary. Doctor-patient relationships, end of life decisions, uncertainty of outcomes in patients in coma following a stroke or a road-traffic accident are some of the themes that the narrative challenges the viewer to contemplate and think about for a long time after the end credits roll. In spite of its dark themes, the film maintains a light humorous tone as a testament to the resilience of human beings that is both life-affirming and uplifting. As a practicing medical consultant, I was reminded of the blurred lines that can exist in doctor-patient relationships ranging from empathy, attachment / detachment, emotional engagement/ disengagement and lack of interest. In medical circles, the notion of 'difficult patients and difficult families' is a challenge that medical students and junior doctors have to 'manage'. Well-informed patients, who come equipped to clinics having read the latest literature on a medical condition, are another challenge that health-care professionals need to 'master how to deal with'. Trust and confidence between patients and doctors are qualities that many films portrayed in a bad light; 'Side effects, USA, 2013, directed by Steven Soderbergh', and 'Shutter Island, USA, 2010, directed by Martin Scorsese' are two examples. 'Waiting' manages to handle the evolving doctor-patient relationship between Shiv, Tara and the Professor (Rajat Kapoor) sensitively, as well as artistically and authentically; the heated arguments ring true, and the opposing points of view are portrayed for the viewer to take sides or remain neutral without sentimentality. Dr James Ruzicka is credited as co- writer and this insider's input from a hospital environment has certainly paid off to keep a 'reality check'. In one of the funniest scene in the film, the eminent Professor teaches his junior doctor how 'to communicate' with family members of patients under his care. The verbal and non-verbal gestures are an art to be mastered and followed without question. 'Waiting' exploration of the current debate around 'euthanasia- right to live- right to die' is well balanced and non-committal in posing more questions than answers. The film can also be read and enjoyed at so many levels, the central relationship between the older man Shiv Kumar (Naseeruddin Shah) and Tara Deshpande (Kalki Koechlin) is a master-class in analyzing the generation-gap and culture clash between old people used to posting letters and telephone conversations, and young people active on twitter, face-book and instagram. What starts off as a supportive relationship in Shiv and Tara finding comfort and solace in each other's company, develops into a deeper understanding of each other's viewpoint and poignant co-dependency. Since I saw the film premièring in December 2015 at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), I have highly recommended it to friends and some of my patients and their families too; in short 'it is a gem that should not be missed'.
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