This week we went to the Dendy cinema at Portside (Brisbane) and saw The Waiting City.
The film absolutely surpassed all my expectations. The two main characters, Fiona and Ben, played by Radha Mitchell and Joel Edgerton travel to Calcutta to collect the child that they have adopted, along the way they make discoveries about themselves and their relationship.
Mitchell is fantastic as the accomplished lawyer Fiona, who finds it hard to put her work aside and is contrasted well Edgerton as Ben, a frustrated musician who entirely lacks Fiona's drive, but seems to make up for it with his easy going nature, charisma and general lust for life.
Some reviews have said that as a couple they seemed mis-matched, but the on screen chemistry is definitely there. As characters they are never fully 'unpacked', explored or resolved, but these gaps and the tension it creates gives reality to their characters. They have faults and flaws, at times hinted at and other times directly acknowledged, and it is these imperfections that I believe we are not used to seeing in films that gives their characters so much weight on screen.
You cannot help but be drawn into the human drama that is unfolding. We accept that they are not just stock characters, and therefore we don't get to know everything about each character, a lot is left unsaid and it not easily assumed. They are complex people that are presented before us as at a trying time in their lives. They have 'real' fights and react in 'real' ways to each other over with deep emotion - this is not a superficial film by any means.
It is for me an emotional, evocative, heart breaking and uplifting film that was refreshing in its honest portray of how imperfect we as are human beings are, but also it is about the desire for and value of family, love, commitment and honesty. This is one of the best films I have seen for sometime.
I also watched Creation this week (the film on Charles Darwin) and despite my love of bio-pics and my general fear of Australian films - if you have to pick between one or the other - make it The Waiting City, I don't think you will be disapointed.