Movie Review: Lunchbox(2013) : Is A Delicious Break From Dreamy Love Stories

Cast: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Lilette Dubey, Nakul Vaid, Bharati Achrekar

Director: Ritesh Batra

Seldom do we get to watch a movie where a common man is sitting in his office cafeteria ,relishing his lunch – no dialogues, no dream sequences – just satisfaction and delight on the face,depicting the joy of food in every bite.

Ritesh Batra’s Lunchbox is primarily about the moments similar to the one mentioned above and at times you don’t even realize that you are watching a movie.Documenting the life of Mumbaikars in trains,unbeatable dabbawala service,old songs and nostalgia are part of this brilliant movie.

The story is simple – A neglected wife Ila (Nimrat Kaur) cooks with the expectation that her husband would love the food,constantly consulting with Aunty ji (Bharati Achrekar). The lunchbox is taken by Dabbawala‘s and is delivered but reaches the wrong person (never read about Dabbawala’s making a mistake but for the sake of fiction it is fine) – an old officer on the verge of retirement – Mr Saajan Fernandez (Irfan Khan). When the lunchbox is returned,Ila is surprised that cooked meal was devoured by someone else as her husband mentions another dish- she sends a thank you note on advice of Aunty ji to the person who ate the meal – which kicks of a delicate,sensitive romantic event in both of their lives.

For your viewing pleasure – enjoy the trailer to get an idea about the movie:

The beauty lies in the interaction between the characters and their simple reactions to the events happening around them.There are plenty of scenes worth remembering.

Ila asking Aunty(terrific voice over) about what to cook,and getting tips from Aunty on what’s missing in the dish without even tasting it.Mr Fernandez’s process of waiting and eating the meal,reading the handwritten note with care and admiration and then sending notes back.

The main characters Ila and Mr Fernandez are generally quite serious, but there are light moments also offered – as they share an event – “Things are never as bad as they seem (watch this scene and you will have a smile on your face) – or the third character Shaikh (Nawazuddin Siddiqui ) – a young officer about to get trained by Mr Fernandez before he retires. Shaikh is careless,full of lies,secrets but is always energetic. Nawazuddin plays this character effortlessly.He irritates and admires Mr Fernandez consistently.

Imrat Kaur as Ila is brilliant and gives a performance which is controlled,effective and very real.Its great to see someone new ,deliver a performance like that.Wondering where you saw her : Check it out:

Irrfan Khan is the life of the movie and he literally lives this role on screen,He doesn’t speak much,but lets his eyes,smile,body language do the talking.The painting scene,reading letters,remembering his wife by watching old serials and travelling – he is just perfect and it shows what a powerhouse of talent this guy is.He is consistently part of Bollywood and Hollywood’s acclaimed movies. Irrfan has always made sure his roles were different and the performance magnificent – if there is something you will carry back home after watching the movie – its most likely the glimpse of Mr Fernandez smiling.

English: Premiere of Goodbye Bafana

Irrfan Khan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A movie like this deserves viewers attention and love – a simplistic tale of simple people using the simplest way to communicate – letters and notes.It is mark of a great movie that you leave the theater but the movie stays with you.Director Ritesh Batra has written and directed a beautiful movie and he deserves the praise showered at him.

Lunchbox is a delicious break from dreamy love stories – watch it – i bet you will have a smile on your face.

Rating : A must watch.

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