The Waiting City

24 Sep

Fiona and Ben Simmons are an unlikely couple. Fiona (played by Radha Mitchell) is a workaholic lawyer who thrives on having lots going on; and Ben (played by Joel Edgerton) is a free spirit, a would-be musician, laid back guy who pretty much goes with the flow – except about this. They want a baby – so they’ve come to Kolkata in India to adopt one from an orphanage here. They’ve completed as much paperwork as they can in Australia and are ready to collect their baby now they are in Kolkata. But on arrival they find their arrangements are not yet finalized. They now face a swathe of bureaucracy that will take a lot of time – so they check into a luxury hotel and start the process … then they wait. The city of Kolkata is chaotic and the frenzy of the streets makes the couple more anxious as they await the outcome – as they wait, they are drawn into the Indian culture. They experience village and family life through the nephew of the hotel manager, who befriends them and the reality of life at the Kolkata orphanage, including the friendship and compassion of Nurse Krishna (by Samrat Chakrabarti). The atmosphere of the Indian city draws them in unexpected ways and the vulnerability of their marriage begins to show …

This is a good movie. It’s fascinating because during the production, the director Claire McCarthy let the street scenes play out in reality – she did not direct or script any of the outdoor scenes in Kolkata, they are totally ad lib, which is great. The two characters, Radha Mitchell and Joel Edgerton are very strong.  I had been familiar with Joel’s work in several other movies, but not Radha’s and she is very good. I’ve visited India and this movie is almost like a documentary or a travelogue in the way it portrays city life.  It loved it for that – it makes Kolkata the heart of the movie. It goes to a place that is unexpected, which makes the story quite thought provoking and very good.

Made in 2009. Directed by Claire McCarthy

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Posted by on September 24, 2013 in Movies


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