WAITING: A FILM BY SANDIP PRATIHAR
“Like is not Love.” – Sunil Gongopadhay
By E.J. Wickes
Image (above) from “Waiting”
The film leads with an argument between Sohini and Subho. A couple who has apparently lost their way. Sohini wants to end her relationship with Subho, as you’re given just enough information to assume that he has done her wrong. His persistent begging for one more chance is only met with her staunch refusal to accept any more of his advances. We’re left to wonder what the motivation for the breakup was, but is it really necessary in context to the film’s message? Waiting is indicative of Sandip’s style. He sometimes draws from the awkward and darker aspects of human nature, the taboo topics that are not easily approachable, or expected in contemporary filmmaking.
He is a cinematographer whose camera seems to have a natural connection to his mind’s eye. There is an obvious romanticism about his work, whether it’s conveyed through the warmth of color he gets in the shot, or the subject matter he chooses to shoot. The simplest microcosms of life are portrayed most elegantly by Indian filmmakers and Sandip’s “Waiting” is no exception. The pacing of the film moves smoothly from scene to scene with an ambient soundtrack nicely infused with ethnic flavors.
Subho is a man who is numb with loss. The film progresses to the train stop as Subho sits, waiting and watching as the trains come and go throughout the night. His nocturnal depression is interrupted by a lovely working girl; but upon their meeting she notices his sadness and from there a new dynamic begins between them. A comfort zone is achieved through what appears to be pleasant and uninhibited conversation. The train platform couldn’t be a more suitable location. As trains roll by, and relationships come and go, like passing ships in the night, a chance meeting could change everything for two lonely strangers.