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The Waiting City Reviews

Page 1 of 3
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

October 10, 2012
The kind of movie that critics like, I guess. Pretty setting. Well done...just really, really slow. Good to see Radha Mitchell in something that isn't terrible, though.
Lewis C

Super Reviewer

August 5, 2010
"You must act out of love, not desperation or need."

I've yet to see a movie set in India that wasn't a visual treat to watch, and The Waiting City definitely earns it's place on that list. The story, about an Australian couple come to Kolkata to adopt a child in the hopes that it will fix their strained relationship, is also interesting, even though I thought it stumbled into predictable, melodramatic territory at times. This is sort of an emotional coming of age story for the two main characters, both as individuals and a couple. The transition from who they are at the beginning to who they are at the end isn't exactly handled in the most organic way, but it is mostly believable.

The movie dabbles in ideas about faith and spirituality, as well, but in a very unfocused way.

I recommend The Waiting City to those interested in India, fans of Radha Mitchell or Joel Edgerton, and movie fans comfortable with subdued, personal storytelling that takes its time to get where it's going.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

April 24, 2012
Upon arriving in Calcutta from their native Australia, Ben(Joel Edgerton), a musician, and Fiona Simmons(Radha Mitchell), a lawyer, are dismayed to find that her suitcase did not also make the journey. Happily, they find it a lot easier to find their driver, Krishna(Samrat Chakrabarti), and settle in for a wait at their upscale hotel. So before their appointment with their adoption case worker, Didi Chatterjee(Tanushree Shankar), Ben renews an acquaintance with Scarlett(Isabel Lucas), an old backpacking friend, while Fiona manages a case from afar.

On the surface, "The Waiting City" has more than its share of culture clash cliches. However, the movie nicely slows its story down to match the more leisurely rhythms of India which it does a very good of photographing. Fine performances and a darker and nuanced mood definitely work in the movie's favor. It should still be pointed out that having or adopting a baby is not a cure all for a floundering relationship, as it puts much too strain on the poor kid. In any case, it is hard to imagine Ben and Fiona ever having been at the same place in their lives.
DrStrangeblog
DrStrangeblog

Super Reviewer

December 6, 2011
And us, The Waiting Audience. A lot of nothing happens storywise from the time an Australian couple arrives in India to claim the child they adopted. As delays occur, the couple begins to doubt their commitment to a family and to each other.

The one good reason to watch this is to get a very good sense of modern life in India, filmed entirely on location in & around Calcutta. Dizzying street activity and peculiar (to Western eyes) ceremonies are fascinating to watch, including a wedding and a funeral in which the dead body is sent downriver on a raft - the same river people bathe and wash clothes in. Ick. With one of the most populous countries in the world, I'm afraid there is too much proximity for this traveler.

I guess another reason to watch is why I did, because it stars Radha Mitchell. She won Best Actress at the Antipodes Film Festival in St. Tropez for this role; she's good as a work-obsessed lawyer, but really nothing out of the ordinary from her usual strong work. Her name Radha-Rani derives from Indian culture as her model mother was enamored with the country during the 1960s, so I imagine Radha had great interest in experiencing the country for herself. That's a great opportunity for her but not a reason for you to watch.
July 16, 2013
I might've found this movie more exotic were I not Asian. The whole mystical life-waiting-death thing seemed utterly dismal and pointless.
Hamee
January 2, 2011
This movie was very endearing and sad. I am not so happy with the ending, but it really leaves you hoping for the best for this couple.
August 25, 2012
Beautiful cinematography and great performances from Mitchell and Edgerton. I wish that there was more of a balance between the atmosphere and the story, but I still really ended up loving it.
July 3, 2012
Another beautiful movie based on my hometown, Calcutta. As a Calcutta, I was amused by the details captured in the movie pertaining to the beliefs and culture of the warm-hearted people by the Australian movie house.
May 4, 2012
Just saw it, very good.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

April 24, 2012
Upon arriving in Calcutta from their native Australia, Ben(Joel Edgerton), a musician, and Fiona Simmons(Radha Mitchell), a lawyer, are dismayed to find that her suitcase did not also make the journey. Happily, they find it a lot easier to find their driver, Krishna(Samrat Chakrabarti), and settle in for a wait at their upscale hotel. So before their appointment with their adoption case worker, Didi Chatterjee(Tanushree Shankar), Ben renews an acquaintance with Scarlett(Isabel Lucas), an old backpacking friend, while Fiona manages a case from afar.

On the surface, "The Waiting City" has more than its share of culture clash cliches. However, the movie nicely slows its story down to match the more leisurely rhythms of India which it does a very good of photographing. Fine performances and a darker and nuanced mood definitely work in the movie's favor. It should still be pointed out that having or adopting a baby is not a cure all for a floundering relationship, as it puts much too strain on the poor kid. In any case, it is hard to imagine Ben and Fiona ever having been at the same place in their lives.
February 16, 2012
vivid, moving & gut-wrenching...know thy relationships.
December 26, 2011
A dreadful movie about dreadful people who want to adopt a baby from India. You'll find yourself hoping beyond hope that they fail. Utterly.
August 27, 2011
Such a moving film- the mini trip to Calcutta can perhaps be considered a bonus!
July 2, 2011
I really did like this film
Nicki P.
July 30, 2010
Claire McCarthy?s newest film, ?The Waiting City? is breakthrough in many ways. Not only is it the first Australian film to be completely filmed in India, but it is her breakthrough film as a director. This is McCarthy?s fourth film, but is definitely her most successful to date. Not to mention it made its debut at the inaugural Toronto International Film Festival last September. The film has many good points, but even though it can be extremely confronting and emotional at times, it still lacks the intensity that it should in parts. Fiona (Radha Mitchell) and Ben Simmons (Joel Edgerton) touch down in Calcutta and are immediately culture shocked by the country in which they have arrived in to pick up their adopted daughter. One setback turns into another as they are forced to wait longer than they expected to meet their new child and bring her home. As they wait, they feel the power of their new daughters homeland as it pulls them in and exposes Fiona and Ben?s flaws in themselves and in their relationship.

?The Waiting City? is one of those rare films which has the ability to make you feel like you really are there experiencing it all with the characters. Even without being to India, you can smell the same things they do, feel the humidity and see things the same way Fiona and Ben do. The star of this film is really India. It is on show in ?The Waiting City? and one can truly believe how the main characters can get so caught up in its mystery and how they start to feel like they are as one with the country. This film is visually stunning and the visuals make it extremely memorable. The clash of cultures is perfectly represented and it is intriguing as well as being humorous at times. The cinematography is very well done as it again captures the essence of Calcutta and its surrounds by the choice of camera angles and modes of filming.

The acting is good, but unfortunately it is the one part of the film that is a let down. Both Radha Mitchell and Joel Edgerton are very good actors in their own right, and do have chemistry on screen, but it almost feels as though the roles were a bit too easy for them to play. The roles they play are subtle, but they are too subtle in the most complex situations. The emotion of the situations they find themselves in, except for one main event, does not grab the audience in the way it should. Edgerton is the better of the two in this film as he is the one who gives more in his role.This doesn?t mean that Mitchell did a bad job, but it wasn?t as strong a performance as one would expect from such a role as this. Samrat Chakrabarti, who plays the Simmons? personal chauffer, Krishna, does do a great job with the role he is given and is a joy to watch on screen. Maybe McCarthy focused more on the visuals in the film and how India is represented, rather than how far the actors could have been pushed to reach the heights their roles should have.

?The Waiting City? is really an aesthetically pleasing film. If anything, it will make you want to pack your bags and go to this beautiful place to enjoy the simpler things in life and to find yourself, if you feel that you need to be found. The key to this film being a success would have been to focus more on the raw emotion of the difficult and complicated situations presented. Therefore, this film will be remembered more as a great tourism product for India rather than the all round great film it could have been.
kj w.
July 10, 2010
A beautifully refreshing movie that captures the true essence of India, it's people, culture and emotions without the usual cliche stereotypes. If you have been to India you will relate to it even more for all the reactions it evokes. It also deals with love and relationships in a real and honest way. No smaltzy Hollywood cliches or endings.

It makes you laugh and cry with a lovely pace, slow sometimes but dreamily so, and then punchy again.

The cast are all fantastic and all really grow into their characters along the way. A great film.
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