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The Waiting Room

The title couldn’t have been more apt as it leaves the audience feeling like they’re actually in a waiting room… waiting… waiting… waiting for some action. Alas, in vain.

The film starts in the waiting room of a railway station in a sleepy hamlet called Tenmalai – and also ends there. It plays on fear and suspicion as there’s a news flash about a murderer on the prowl. The killer lures young women with drugged food, then he rapes and kills them. Could the rapist-cum-killer be lurking in the waiting room?

Amidst the chaos, a woman is murdered in the vicinity and the local TV channel airs the report which is viewed by everyone in the waiting room. More fear, more anticipation.

The plot is interesting though not new. But it’s the poor screenplay that makes director Maneej Premnath (again a debutante) a handicap. The narrative in the beginning is impressive and though it’s a small station, it is impressively lit and well-decorated. This makes the film initially worth watching as it evokes a sense of curiosity. And curious audinece awaits for some actioin till the end.

However, the narrative slides and the camera, in a bid to generate a sense of fear and excitement, ends up offering a series of sloppy close-ups. Not a pretty picture!
One thing every writer or director must remember is to conceal the identity of the killer till the very end. No prizes for guessing what happens in this waiting room. Instead, the killer’s motives remain a mystery.

Performance-wise, Raj Singh Chaudhary (Gulaal fame) is not as impressive as he was in his debut film, thanks to the weak screenplay. Radhika Apte is strictly okay. Southern actor Indrajith (special appearance) has nothing to do. Rest fits the bill.

In a nutshell, no one’s waiting to see this film.

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