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The Lunchbox 2013

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Hindi romantic drama directed by Ritesh Batra and starring Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur. Khan plays Saajan, a widowed Indian accounts clerk approaching retirement, who mistakenly receives a lunch box through Mumbai's daily delivery service. The lunch box was intended for the indifferent husband of lonely housewife Ila (Kaur) and Saajan sends back a note to state the mistake but thank her for the food regardless. However, his love for her food comes as a surprise to Ila, who is more accustomed to her thankless husband, and she decides to keep sending the lunch box for Saajan. The two begin exchanging notes and soon they reveal more to each other through their correspondence than they would to anyone else...

Starring:
Irrfan Khan, Yashvi Puneet Nagar
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 45 minutes
Starring Irrfan Khan, Yashvi Puneet Nagar, Bharati Achrekar, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Lillete Dubey, Nakul Vaid, Nimrat Kaur
Director Ritesh Batra
Genres Romance
Studio Artificial Eye
Rental release 14 July 2014
Main languages English, Hindi
Subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 45 minutes
Starring Irrfan Khan, Yashvi Puneet Nagar, Bharati Achrekar, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Lillete Dubey, Nakul Vaid, Nimrat Kaur
Director Ritesh Batra
Genres Romance
Studio Fusion Media Sales
Rental release 14 July 2014
Main languages Hindi
Dubbing English
Subtitles English

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
“The Lunchbox” is just what I needed. It’s a movie that not only restores my faith in the genre of feel-good dramas, but it reinforces the fact that something simple isn’t always a bad thing (and can actually be pretty powerful). From the cinematography to the acting, I can’t complain, and that’s pretty rare. But somehow, the ingredients that make up this delightful little movie never falter. There wasn’t a moment that I would’ve changed, especially when it comes to the original way our two main characters meet.

Their sweet relationship begins due to a mistake in Mumbai’s lunchbox delivery system. Ila, a young housewife, takes up the task of making her husband’s lunch each day and unexpectedly, it’s not getting to him. She spends hours and hours making a wonderful feast but it ends up going to Saajan, a widowed man who works in an office, by accident. She decides to send him a note in the lunchbox one day and they begin communicating back and forth, turning a simple mishap into something beautiful.

And honestly, it’s one of the most sincere films I’ve seen in a long time. It doesn’t feel the need to be in any way grandiose, keeping a quiet and reserved tone throughout (with some comedy sprinkled in at the perfect moments). Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur (who play Saajan and Ila) are absolutely superb, playing off of each other perfectly in every scene.

And what’s even more miraculous is that all of this is coming from a first-time director. It has the style and confidence of a film made by someone with years of experience, and I have to commend Ritesh Batra on his outstanding work. It would be a crime if this doesn’t receive a nomination for ‘best foreign-language film’ at the Oscar’s this year.
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By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 April 2014
Format: DVD
I had not heard of Mumbai's labour intensive dabbawallah system for delivering to men at work the lunch boxes often prepared by their loving wives, but a recent trip to India had made me aware of the noisy, polluted, gridlocked chaos of its urban streets. In this tale, lonely housewife Ila finds that her delicious lunches, intended to rekindle the ardour of her neglectful, workaholic husband, are somehow reaching the desk of an equally lonely insurance claims clerk on the brink of retirement. Their ensuing correspondence, made more frank and poignant by the fact that they have never met, explores both the pathos and the potential simple joys of daily life. In the process, we see and learn a good deal about life in modern India, which, beneath the film's many comical moments seems rather sad: men grow old strap-hanging to work on overcrowded public transport, and those in work seem to have to work too hard for relatively little. Are such pleasures as mouth-watering food and colourful wedding celebrations enough to compensate for this?

Some of the plotting is a little unconvincing, but the impression of Indian life is authentic. Ritesh Batra, the director, was wise to steer clear of Bollywood romance in favour of a slower paced, lower key but moving and thoughtful film, which despite moments of sadness leaves the audience feeling positive.
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Format: DVD
Ritesh Batra’s debut ’The Lunchbox’ is a delightful film set in Mumbai, India. Saajan (Irrfan Khan) is a grieving widower who is counting down the days before his retirement as a government pen-pusher. His favourite time of day is when he receives his lunchtime lunchbox, courtesy of the legendary Dabbawala service which delivers millions of lunch boxes every day.

One day, the food delivered is far superior to the food he normally receives. It turns out that this delicious lunchbox was made by a bored housewife called Ila (Nimrat Kaur), who is trying to win back her disinterested husband. When they both realise whats happened, they strike up an unlikely relationship through letters. Initially venting the frustrations in their lives, the letters become increasingly personal and they decide to meet.

Batra explores this friendship through these letters, unearthing the insecurities in both characters, especially Saajans alienation from life since his wife’s death. They both use these letters to expose their failings, and perhaps to demystify them too. The letters help to engage and disengage themselves from each other, allowing them to make life-changing decisions which they may not have been able to do otherwise.

Saajan also unravels a fondness for the person who will eventually take over his job, Shaikh (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). His pained demeanour hides for the most part his sadness, with Shaikh and Ila aiding his rehabilitation back to some sort of normality. Some great performances are led by Irrfan Khan, giving yet another excellent character study. ’The Lunchbox’ is a delicate, charming drama showing the positive effects food can have on people, and how anyone of any age has something to offer others in those moments of lonliness. In these fast-paced times, these simplest of pleasures still provide the most nourishment.
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Format: DVD
"The Lunchbox" (2013 release from India; 105 min.) brings the story of Ila, a house wife stuck in an unhappy marriage. She makes her husband's lunch meal every day, and it gets delivered through Mumbai's famous dabbawalla (an intricate delivery systems). Somehow a mistake is made and the lunchbox is delivered not to her husband, but to Saajan, a widower. Soon Saajan and Ila start communicating back-and-forth through handwritten notes left in the lunch box. Then Ila finds out that her husband is having an affair. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the feature debut of writer-director Ritesh Batra, and what a debut he gives us! Second, the film addresses many different themes in fine fashion, including of course what constitutes true love but also true happiness. At one point Ila writes to Saajan that she wants to move to Bhutan, "because they don't have Gross Domestic Product, but Gross National Happiness, and people are always happy there". There are several parallel secondary stories in the movie, including Saajan being asked to train a newcomer at work, and also Ila's family, with aunts and uncles, and the responsibilities of taking care of older parents. Third, the film, shot on location in Mumbai, gives a glimpse of what life is like there. I haven't had a chance to visit it yet, but would very much would like to at some point. Fourth, the acting performances, in particular from the 2 leads (the beautiful Nimrat Kaur as Ila and Irfan Khan as Saajan) are outstanding. Last but not least, there is a nice soundtrack, composed by veteran UK film composer Max Richter.
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