The Lunchbox, is a beautiful story revolving around two strangers narrated with so much warmth that you remain glued to your seat throughout the movie. The icing to the cake is the heart-warming performances by the stellar star-cast.
A thoughtful, elegant, bittersweet ode to love played out across the streets of Mumbai, The Lunchbox makes your heart sing. The tender and imaginative romance between the virtual couple is not via the modern social media, instead through a lunchbox mix-up. First-time writer-director Ritesh Batra has very delicately revealed the dreams, regrets, joys and fears faced by people everyday without any narrative trickery or loftiness.
The movie is set amid the incredible system of Bombay’s dabbawallas, a community of lunchbox delivery men who deliver thousands of lunchboxes cooked by housewives to their husbands at the offices. Watching the white-capped men transporting the lunchboxes across the breath and width of the city, rain or shine is a impressive scenario. In the movie a delivery man proudly recalls, that their dabba system has been subject to a Harvard University study, which concluded to the fact that only one in a million dabbas goes astray. The Lunchbox is the story about that one.
The Lunchbox is an old-time yet contemporary love story that develops perfectly through exchange of notes via a lunchbox. Ila (Nimrat Kaur), a pretty young mother is trying her best to win the attention of her unfaithful husband (Nakul Vaid). Her simple logic of doing so – "the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach". But the lunchbox gets wrongly delivered to Saajan Fernandes (Irrfan Khan), a widower who is about to retire after 35 years of immaculate service in the government’s claims department. Realizing the mix-up that has occurred, Ila encloses a note next day. Saajan writes back and soon a daily "correspondence" develops between them. They secretly start sharing their lives through handwritten notes that maintain a noble tone throughout, hence adding a beauty to the relation.
Adding a tint of flavor to the warm and subtle characters of Ila and Saajan Fernandes is an indispensable ingredient: the charming apprentice accountant, Aslam Shaikh (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). An orphan and self-made man, the eager-beaver Shaikh gradually manages to break down the gloomy wall Saajan has built around himself since his wife’s death. Shaikh, in short is the personification of exuberance and audacity in the face of adversities.
Captured on reel by Michael Simmonds, edited by John Lyons and garnished with apt musical background score by Max Richter, The Lunchbox neither faces technical nor pacing issues for its audiences, national or international. It is a very Indian tale with the right amount of humor and delicacy. The way all its characters are brought together into a common social grid either through Mumbai’s over-crowded trains or traffic jams or through a complicated marriage is worth appreciating. As the movie heads towards its climax, one wishes that everybody finds his or her share of happiness and reach the right destination, even if someone takes the wrong train.