The Waiting Room – Thriller that no one saw

In January 2010, a film called ‘The Waiting Room’ was released perhaps in few screens across few metros.  It was really a very small film directed by Maneej Premnath who had once assisted Ramgopal Verma. The movie starred mostly unknow artists including the lead Raj Singh Chaudhary who had done lead role in  ‘Gulaal’ earlier. The movie was badly managed by its producers and didnt even get a proper release. I think even IMDB does not mention it.

The movie is a suspense thriller set in a small town Railway Station in Southern India called Tenamalai. There are about 4-5 characters who are waiting in the Railway waiting room for a train which is heavily delayed. There is a serial killer on the prowl and of course there is general fear in each characters about the other characters. The film works on the principle that fear is what drives most people to behave irrationally. Being a low budget movie it does have its limitations and is not technically brilliant but the plot is very interesting and the actors have acted superbly, especially Raj Singh Chaudhary. Sandeep Kulkarni and Pratiksha Lonkar plays the Gujarati couple and Radhika Apte plays the lonely girl.

The atmosphere of the waiting room and the station is superbly captured. Although the suspense is not very smart though as there are not too many characters it is quite easy to guess things. The director also seems to be in a terrible hurry in the last 10 minutes or so to finish the film, maybe he ran out of the limited budget.

The film was hardly noticed by anybody when it released and hardly anyone watched it or reviewed it. I watched the 90  minute movie on Youtube and I must say I was impressed by most of it, barring the hurried end. I wish such movies did get marketed and released properly.

I would surely recommend this movie to people who love offbeat suspense thrillers although not very arty kind of films.

My Ratings: 7/10 –  Watch it if you like Suspense thrillers and Good acting.

Books I Read: Shutter Island – Dennis Lehane

Few months back browsing on some Movie site and reading the upcoming movies one of the names I saw was ‘Shutter Island’ starring Leonardo Dicaprio and directed by Martinc Scorcese. I then realised that it must have been based on the book I owned but hadnt yet had chance to read it. My hunch was right, the movie is based on the thriller by Dennis Lehane. Dennis Lehane has written quite a few decent books including Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone etc. Even the movie based on the above books were brilliant, atleast ‘Mystic River’ was. Now, I had to read Shutter Island before watching the movie.

Shutter Island – Paperback Cover

The story is set in 1954 in North Eastern America, mainly Boston and an island near it namely Shutter Island which houses a federal institution for the criminally insane. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner, Chuck Aule, are called in to investigate an escape of a female patient. The facility is run by suspicious Dr. Cawly. You soon realize that there is more to this institution then we think. Teddy believes that an arsonist is hiding in the facility and Chuck suspects that patients are used as guinea pigs in trying out mental treatment. Soon the hunter becomes the hunted.

The books keeps you hooked to it and the case of missing prisoner and various codes leading to her makes you read it at a stretch. But there are more twists and turns in the story, some of which are expected and some of which are ‘out of the blue’. All of these keep the readers guessing right till the end. Of course in the end when everything is explained, you do realize that not everything was what it seemed while reading.

Quite a fun read and would recommend to anyone who loves thrillers. My Ratings  – 7/10

Now, to the movie. The movie has released in USA and has got quite varied reviews. Waiting for its release here in India. Hopefully the team of  Scorcese and Leo wouldnt disappoint me and film would live up to the book.