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The Waiting City

3.5 out of 5 stars (12) IMDb 6.2/10

After married couple Ben (Joel Edgerton) and Fiona (Radha Mitchell) journey to Calcutta to pick up their adopted baby, the intoxicating power of the chaotic city pulls them apart.

Radha Mitchell, Joel Edgerton
1 hour, 48 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Claire McCarthy
Starring Radha Mitchell, Joel Edgerton
Supporting actors Samrat Chakrabarti, Isabel Lucas, Tillotama Shome, Barun Chanda, Dana Roy, Tamal Ray Chowdhury, Tanushree Shankar, Palomi Ghosh, Kalyan Chatterjee, Kamalendu Banerjee, Jeremy Sims, Shankar Haldar, Soumitra Saha, Sayfed Samseer Ali, Scott Bendall, Babu Datta, Sayaree Dutta, Sahira Bibi
Studio E1 Entertainment
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I'll start with a warning: this is not a feel good movie. But it is tough, realistic, well played and nicely shot. Radha Mitchell's depiction of Fiona, a driven career woman is very convincing -- in India to pick up her adopted baby, but juggling work back home with cell phone, skype and her omnipresent laptop. Joel Edgerton provides a believable foil to her character with Ben, the free-spirited musician husband, willing to immerse himself in the experience of India from the time the plane touches down (and sometimes having to pay to gastrointestinal price!). Samrat Chakrabarti steals the show with his ingratiatingly polite Krishna, who has a talent for saying the slightly awkward yet horribly truthful comments that a western-world guide or hotel assistant would never venture ("You are a barren woman, Mrs. Simmons?").

The story is believable enough -- Australian couple finally makes it to India after years of bureaucratic machinations to welcome their adoptive daughter. But India is always transformative to those willing to open their eyes and their hearts, and even the hard-nosed Fiona eventually succumbs. The signs are subtle at first -- the blind devotee who can see Fiona's mother and the whirling crowd scenes where Fiona gets seemingly swallowed by the likes of Shiva, Durga or other deities. When Fiona makes it to the holy river and debates going to the water with Krishna, we finally see her begin to allow India to wash over her.

The ending is not anticipated. Unlike other reviewers, who recommend caution and describe the film as disturbing with regard to the adoption process, I think it paints an accurate picture of the warmth and openness of Indian people. They are not there to "serve up" a transformative spiritual experience to the Western traveler, but rather to force introspection and growth of those willing to make that journey.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
A lovely film, about a couple who have traveled to India to adopt a child. They have been waiting a long time to adopt their child, and upon their arrival in Mumbai, they discover they have to wait even longer due to obscure bureaucratic reasons. Mitchell's character is the family breadwinner, and her husband is the type to go off and play drums with hippie drummers--in fact, he even manages to hook up with a hippie drummer from his past. Both members of the couple--but especially Mitchell's character--experience profound realizations in this new setting, about the meaning of marriage, family, and love. I strongly recommend. Mitchell's work in this film is some of the best she has done.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Indian reviewer needed.
Our PBS channel here rated this movie quite highly so I bought it off Amazon when the DVD was released. Later my wife explained to me that the channel is kind of obligated to praise Australian productions whether they are good or not. More fool me.
This Australian production set in Calcutta scripted two of the most clichéd, cardboard cut-out, caricatures from cliché town imaginable as the Australians. The male channelled a credible Russel Crowe lite if you like that sort of thing while the woman played brittle and wooden perfectly subjugating any acting to her role as a fairly good looking clothes horse. As an Australian I am ashamed that foreign viewers might actually think we have couples like this. The scripted parts lacked credibility throughout as one predictable set piece melodrama cliché followed another.
My question to any Indians reading this is: How accurately was Calcutta represented? How much of a caricature were the main Indian characters in the script? From my never been to India perspective they were far more appealing than the Australians and one had to like the main Indian guy but I have a nagging fear I may be swallowing a fat set of patronising clichés here.
Tell me!
Two stars because it made India look so beautiful in place. None for the script or the acting.
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Format: DVD
Since our own trip to India, my wife and I have been very interested in stories that are set there. In this film a couple travel to India to pick up the daughter they have been in the long process of adopting. Radha Mitchell and Joel Edgerton are Fiona and Ben Simmons. India and the reason they are there tests their relationship significantly. While the differences in their natures were probably fascinating enough to bring them together when they were young, under pressure from the realities of life they now serve as potential flash-points. The adoption of a daughter is intended in part to heal the rifts. Unfortunately, as anyone familiar with India will know, it is a very complicated place. So the couple have to deal with some significant external challengers as well as their personal ones.

It is a nice enough movie. Mitchell is good as the under pressure mother-to-be, though Edgerton, while being generally likeable, mumbles his lines a bit much. It seems to be the stereotype of Australian screen men these days. Samrat Chakrabarti is very good as their Indian `contact' and the waiflike Isabel Lucas is alluring in her minor role as a bohemian back-packer. It is a solid drama and pleasingly, it is a little unpredictable in how some story threads are dealt with. The issue at heart is a complicated one and this one becomes even more complicated than usual. It is an interesting study of a marriage under pressure. It is also a fascinating look at India. It is an incredible place and the film makers have incorporated some amazing scenes into the film. It is no classic but it is quite well done. Recommended if the themes are of interest to you.
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