232 user 207 critic

The Lunchbox (2013)

2:06 | Trailer
A mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects a young housewife to an older man in the dusk of his life as they build a fantasy world together through notes in the lunchbox.


Ritesh Batra


Ritesh Batra (screenplay), Vasan Bala (hindi dialogue consultant)
Top Rated Indian Movies #153 | Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 28 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Irrfan Khan ... Saajan Fernandes
Nimrat Kaur ... Ila
Nawazuddin Siddiqui ... Shaikh
Lillete Dubey ... Ila's Mother
Nakul Vaid Nakul Vaid ... Rajeev
Bharti Achrekar ... Auntie
Yashvi Puneet Nagar Yashvi Puneet Nagar ... Yashvi
Denzil Smith ... Mr. Shroff
Shruti Bapna ... Mehrunnisa
Nasirr Khan Nasirr Khan ... Ila's Father (as Nasir Khan)
Lokesh Raj Lokesh Raj ... Duke's Owner
Sadashiv Kondaji Pokarkar Sadashiv Kondaji Pokarkar ... Dabbawallah at Ila's House
Aarti Rathod Aarti Rathod ... Saajan's Neighbor
Krishna Bai Krishna Bai ... Toothless Woman
Raj Rishi More Raj Rishi More ... Ila's Brother


The film, set in Mumbai, revolves around a mistaken delivery by the Dabbawalas (lunchbox service) of Mumbai, which leads to a relationship between Saajan, a lonely widower close to retirement, and Ila, an unhappy housewife, as they start exchanging notes through the daily lunchbox. Written by Iceman

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


All she wanted was her husband's love. All he wanted was to be left alone. A lunchbox delivered to the wrong man changes everything. See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The film was jointly produced by various studios including DAR motion pictures, UTV Motion Pictures, Dharma Productions, Sikhya Entertainment, NFDC (India), ROH Films (Germany), ASAP Films (France), and the Cine Mosaic (United States). See more »


At one point, Shaikh tells Saajan about his father-in-law that "the last time he smiled was at the 1984 World Cup". There were no major world cups that year. The FIFA world cup was held in 1982 & then in 1986; and the ICC cricket world cup was held in 1983. See more »


Saajan Fernandes: Nobody buys a lottery ticket expired, Ila.
See more »


Referenced in 73 Questions: 73 Questions with Lupita Nyong'o (2015) See more »

User Reviews

A Lunchbox to fill you craving for a good Bollywood movie
22 September 2013 | by kirankumarfrankSee all my reviews

Lunchbox review: Note: Don't open this Dabba if you don't like slow paced movies!!

After a long time i have watched a Bollywood movie where in the movie makes you think about your life and how it can buzz past you before you realize it and that if you don't start to enjoy the small things like the bendi ki sabji, you will be made to eat Aloo Gobi every day (Just kidding) As they say in the movie "Sometimes the wrong train takes you to the right destination" ie Every cloud has a silver lining!!

The story revolves around a misplaced dabba (Trivia: Dabbawala's supposedly have a low error ratio, i.e "one mistake in 8 million deliveries."!!) Irrfan Khan has done a tremendous job both in acting and narrating the story. Nimrat Kaur(the Dairy Milk Silk girl!! ) and Nawazuddin Siddiqui fit their characters perfectly and have done a wonderful job portraying their roles. The only downside is that the pace of the movie is bit slow. But if they had edited it further it would have been a 1hr episode!

The Gujarati film "The Good Road" must have been really good to beat this to be the India's entry into the Oscars.

Rating: I will go with ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ /★★★★★ for this wonderful film.

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Official Sites:

Cine Mosaic | Official Site | See more »


India | France | Germany | USA | Canada



Release Date:

20 September 2013 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lunchbox See more »

Filming Locations:

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,542, 2 March 2014

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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