The Lunchbox- Movie Review

Roochster

thelunchbox posterSometimes you just know that a film will be outstanding the moment you see its trailer. The Lunchbox is exactly that and so much more.

A simple, middle-class, lonely man- Mr. Fernandes (Irrfan Khan) has a dull, routine life until he starts receiving a ‘dabba’ during lunch time that’s not really his. The dabba is meant to go to the husband of Ila, a woman who is lonely (Nimrat Kaur), has a child and a friend/ neighbour with whom she communicates via a window. She tries too hard to win her husband’s heart but fails every single time and hence starts to send new food items that might get his attention. As days go by, letters are exchanged in the dabba and thus a new relationship between two individuals who know nothing about each other is born.

Director Ritesh Batra who is also the writer of the film has created magic with his characters alone. Their personalities are so clear and strong that you’re keen to know more about them as the movie progresses. Each character has a presence that doesn’t just melt away with the story. In fact, they only get stronger. Without complications in their personalities, the story is told in the simplest manner possible. The director chooses to keep things as real as possible. The office environment, Irrfan Khan’s house, his neighbours, Nimrat Kaur’s house, the city, the Dabbawalas, the trains, buses, rickshaws, taxis all become an integral part of his story.  Superb art direction production design. I love that the clothes too are simple, repeated and relatable. No pretense whatsoever. No make up either. I also like the fact that there’s barely any background music. The only songs you will hear are the ones the Dabbawalas sing in the train and the ones played on the radio or ‘cassette’ as Ila asks aunty to play. What’s also nice is that Ila always writes to Mr. Fernandes in Hindi whereas Mr. Fernandes responds to her in English. They stick to their characters which don’t seek acceptance but just an ear to be heard or eyes to read in this case.

Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur shine like diamonds in their performances. They are natural, grounded and spontaneous in their acting. Nawazuddin Siddiqui who plays the annoying assistant does his part just the way he’s meant to do it. Another one of those Director’s actors. Auntyji played by Bharati Achrekar is not seen throughout the film but she has a strong presence in the film and is very entertaining. Lilette Dubey (the mother), Denzil Smith (the boss) and Nakul Vaid (the husband) all play their parts well.

The Lunchbox is a film that is for everyone to watch. Enjoyable, tasty and unique. Must watch!

Rating– 4/5

 

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