7.8/10
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The Lunchbox (2013)

Dabba (original title)
Trailer
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.

Director:

Ritesh Batra

Writers:

Ritesh Batra (screenplay), Vasan Bala (hindi dialogue consultant)
Top Rated Indian Movies #140 | Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 28 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A Tasty Surprise! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Cine Mosaic | Official Site | See more »

Country:

India | France | Germany | USA | Canada

Language:

Hindi | English

Release Date:

20 September 2013 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lunchbox See more »

Filming Locations:

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,542, 2 March 2014

Gross USA:

$4,235,151

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,621,777
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In order to bring authenticity to the role and for knowing each other well enough to share the love and resentment among the couple as per the story in the film, Nimrat Kaur (Ila) and her onscreen husband Nakul Vaid (Rajeev) stayed at the same house as shown in the movie for weeks and spent days extensively rehearsing their part and adjusting to it prior to the other cast members even getting finalized. See more »

Goofs

When Saajan received the lunch box for the first time there were four compartments in it. He opens only three compartments of the lunch box, but when the camera changes it can be seen the whole lunch box is open. See more »

Quotes

Saajan Fernandes: When my wife died, she got a horizontal burial cot... I tried to buy a burial cot for myself the other day, and what they offered me was a vertical one... I've spent my whole life standing in trains and buses... now I'll even have to stand when I'm dead!
See more »

Connections

References Saajan (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great story line, effortless performances, definitely worth a watch!
20 September 2013 | by bionmbaSee all my reviews

To be able to write an involving story on something considered impossible is the hallmark of a good writer. 'The Lunchbox' is based on such a story surrounding the dabbawalas of Mumbai.

One mistake that brews a terrific relationship between two strangers, so delicately portrayed through the exchange of letters. There are only three actors in this film and each has delivered a stellar performance. None of them have many dialogues, but their expressions and motions depict their character in such an excellent manner, you wished there were even fewer lines! Irrfan proves with every new film that he in fact is the best 'Khan' of Bollywood and Nawazuddin can just not disappoint. He's used his GoW success to break into films such as this one and done justice to each role. Nimrat Kaur's simplicity throughout the film looks so effortless and yet so unbelievable for the Bollywood of today, which is ever so increasingly synonymous of excessive glamour and fashion.

Cinematography is average, but again, this isn't a 'visual' movie, it's more of a story. Direction looks great as Ritesh has been able to get the best out of his cast. Well, you'd have to try real hard to have Irrfan and Nawaz amidst your cast and yet churn a flop, but the director does deserve some credit.

In my opinion, this is the second best film of the year after Madras Cafe. I haven't seen Bhaag Milkha Bhaag though, so that might change things for me. Either way, this is in no way a bore or a drag as the film keeps you hooked onto the amazing story line and individual performances.

Enjoy!


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