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Most sumptuous and delicious fare Bollywood has offered in ages.
anish-721 September 2013
"The Lunchbox" is the most honest love story to come out of Bollywood in ages. It is a delightful story of love blossoming slowly, one letter a day, between two most unlikely but equally despondent characters you could ever match make.

Debutant Director, Ritesh Batra, who is also done the script writing, has crafted an exquisite gem of a movie. Batra impresses because he does not set out to impress. He conveys eloquently the state of the mind of each character because he is economical with emotions and does not exaggerate. Batra makes a memorable movie with multiple layers because he is honest with himself and his craft. Ritesh Batra is simply magnificent.

The performances by the 3 leading actors, Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Nimrat Kaur are disarmingly natural, poignant and memorable. Pitted against the two stalwarts (comparatively speaking), Khan and Siddiqui, newcomer Nimrat Kaur more than holds her own. I am at a loss of words to describe her performance. Her character is nuanced, neglected, grieving and most complex yet Kaur's is the most memorable performance in the movie. Her role would be talked about for a long time to come.

While ironically, the whole serendipity bit of the film kicks off with a delivery mistake made by Bombay's Dabbawalas, world famous for their Six Sigma (99.999666% ) accuracy, Batra's movie reassures that even if the odds of finding true love in life is Six Sigma stacked against you, it is worth waiting for and taking your chances.

"The Lunchbox" is the most sumptuous and appetizing fare Bollywood has offered in ages. Just go for it
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Extraordinary Story of Ordinary Lives!
ahirjoy21 September 2013
The Lunchbox(Movie -2013) Review - The movie "The Last Samurai" ended with a quote something like "We all seek some small measure of peace, and few of us ever find". After many years "The Lunchbox", a movie from a completely different background and culture echoed the same thought to my ears, really it is never too late to start your life again. You can expect the movie will be a gem as you have the two best character-artists of this decade – Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing the lead roles. However I didn't expect Nimrat Kaur will also give such an awesome performance as I never followed her before except "Cadbuy Dairy Milk-Silk adds", and I apologize for my ignorance sincerely! Nimrat was equally great. This movie can be an excellent demonstration of what extraordinary performance really means in any acting-learning institute of any part of the world, trust me on this!!!

The start of the story - A frustrated housewife prepares an excellent lunch for her husband with great care. But unfortunately (or fortunately!), it reaches to an equally lonely person on the verge of retirement - Saajan Fernandes (Irrfan Khan) whose wife died long back. This simple cross connection by Mumbai Dubbawalas in the age of digital era starts a beautiful and interesting romantic relationship however ending of which has been kept open-ended for our own imagination. At the same time we can see an excellent equation and emotional turmoil building up between Saajan /Irrfann, the serious and lonely parting boss and Shaikh/Nawazuddin, his future replacement, who is funny and enthusiastic and quiet opposite to his boss.In some cases Nawazuddin has overshadowed Irfann too! The direction was superb, specially the depiction of the supply chain of the Mumbai Dabbawalas through the city is just extraordinary.Hats-off Ritesh Batra for his unbelievable first time direction.

Disclaimer: This movie is 4.5/5 from me, 0.5 is deducted only for its little slow pace , otherwise it in an extraordinary story about very ordinary lives. To me, this movie deserves all the critical appreciations it has received both in India and Outside. Avoid only if you really hate slow paced realistic depiction about everyday common lives of Tom,Dick and Harry and expect only superheroes doing superhuman activities; otherwise this is a "MUST WATCH"!
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a movie to watch... must watch...
senaruni20 September 2013
Once Rabindranath Tagore says about 'short stories'...

"Simple events of life happy or sad,/ Some sad strings from the train of forgetfulness,/ Not fraught with heavy descriptions,/ Not crowded with events,/ No advice, no philosophy/ Only the feeling that the story is not yet over/ Although there is no more to read..."

'The Lunchbox' is a perfect example of a unique 'short story'. A little love story with some little events and pain... but at the end there is a new beginning.

The story is about a lonely old widower and a young neglected house wife. They connected through a lunch box and some letters, and share some emotional thought and experience of there daily life with each other. They are totally stranger to each other, but love has found out it's own way to enter.

There is a basic question about "Love"... 'Is it possible to fall in love between two strangers'? "The Lunchbox" defines it brilliantly... 'Love has no definition and it never follows any rules. So there is a possibility to fall in love with somebody whom we never meet. People loves to fall in 'Love' again and again, it may be someone we know or don't know or whom we already loved with'.

Irfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui are acted very well through out the movie. Direction of Ritesh Batra is just too much perfect. After interval, the movie is a little bit slow, may be it's a situational demand. Overall it's an wonderful experience.

Lastly, the best part of the movie is 'The Ending'. "Only the feeling that the story is not yet over, although there is no more to read". There is something unspoken in this movie. It depends viewers to viewers, where they actually like to go with "Sajan & Ila".

Strongly recommend to all cine goers... please watch it...
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Delicious Love Story
visheshvijay20 September 2013
In an age when instant messaging, email, and various social media have made communication easier and quicker, debutant writer-director Ritesh Batra relies on scribbled notes tucked in tiffin boxes to deliver a charming, old-fashioned love story in The Lunchbox. There's a simple line in this sumptuous film that captures its essence beautifully: "Sometimes even the wrong train can take you to the right destination." It's a line that might help interpret the film's open ending, but one that also nicely sums up its unique premise.

I'm going with ten ratings for The Lunchbox. The greatest love stories are the ones that make you root for the protagonists to come together, despite their destinies. This film illustrates how love transforms the unlikeliest of people; it breaks down Saajan's walls and gives Ila the courage to fly. Treat yourself to The Lunchbox – it'll leave you with a craving to seek your own little happiness. Best film I've seen in a long time. Acting of Irfan 10/10 Film Rating - 10/10

I believe that this time LunchBox will surely make history in Oscars .
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Mixes food and romance in a very appealing combination
howard.schumann1 October 2013
An old saying repeated in Ritesh Batra's charming The Lunchbox is that sometimes the wrong train will bring you to the right station. In this case, however, the train turns out to be a dabba (lunchbox), wrongly delivered by a dabbawala to a middle-aged government claims adjuster on the brink of retirement. It works out well even though, in reality, with about 5,000 dabbawalas in the city of Mumbai who deliver more than 130,000 lunch boxes each day, they rarely make a mistake. Written by Stefan Tomke in the mode of You Got Mail, Ila (Nimrat Kaur), a young housewife dutifully prepares a lunch for her emotionally distant husband every day and has it sent to him via the courier.

On the advice of her upstairs Auntie, Mrs. Deshpande (Bharati Achreka), Ila tries to have her husband notice her by putting more spice in the food. When it is wrongly delivered to Saajan (Irrfan Khan, Life of Pi), however, a series of unintended consequences unfold. What begins with a short note from Sajaan to Ila that "the food was salty today" develops into a series of exchanges passed back and forth in the lunchbox everyday in which the two open up to each other about their lives, memories, and their hopes and dreams for the future. A subplot involving Aslam Shaikh (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), an aggressively upbeat successor to Sajaan, adds a touch of humor to the proceedings but also serves to draw a contrast between himself and the grumpy Saajan.

Both Aslam and Sajaan become more endearing, however, as the film progresses. While the ending may thwart expectations if you are used to having all the pieces neatly fit together, The Lunchbox mixes food and romance in a very appealing combination, removing any doubt that Ila and Sajaan have moved to a new level. Impeccably acted and beautifully realized, the film provides an honest appreciation of what it is like to live in Mumbai without exploiting its poverty for Western audiences. Though the wrong train may indeed bring you to the right station, ultimately there is no wrong train and no right station. As The Lunchbox demonstrates, there is just the train and the journey, and it's all perfect.
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Tightrope walk between heartwarming and heartbreaking
Horst_In_Translation16 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"The Lunchbox" is one of these films which are so great that it's almost impossible to put into words why they are that good. You just have to experience them. I'll give it a try though. The film centers around a lonely widower who, thanks to coincidence, has two strangers enter and enrich his life that may or may not have an impact on him in the future. The factor of coincidence is a very crucial one here as these happenings depict perfectly how one random thing happening can change your life forever. Often you can't even force it, you just have to hope for it to happen. The lunchbox simply could have gotten addressed correctly or the new employee could have tried his luck at another company and nothing from the action we were so lucky to see would have happened.

But back to the film: It's Ritesh Batra's first directorial effort for a full feature after a few short films, which makes the final result even more impressive. I was shocked to hear that India decided to submit another movie as the entry to the Foreign Language category at next year's Academy Awards. I haven't seen this one (yet) though, so no further elaboration on it, except I'd be quite surprised if I end up liking their choice as much as "The Lunchbox". Indian cinema is one of not too many areas that I'm not too familiar with. I've seen "Slumdog Millionaire" of course and "Gandhi", but that's pretty much all I can say. Anyway, if the level of "The Lunchbox" is the one several Indian films deliver these days, I can't wait to get more into the matter. I especially liked Irrfan Khan (with "Life of Pi" and Slumdog Millionaire" recently under his belt probably the biggest star from his country right now internationally) as a lonesome widower who did so much with so little and should easily be a contender for Best Actor of the Year at the next Oscars, but obviously he won't be. In Khan's shadow, Nimrat Kaur, who's surprisingly new to the film industry, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui as a likable pain in the neck shine as well.

The other great strength of the movie besides its lead actor is the writing. The film is packed from start to finish with dialog that so fits the tone and situation and a large number of symbolisms that will impossibly leave you cold. At least that's what I can tell for me and most of the audience sitting in my viewing. You don't have to have lost your wife as well to feel the lead character's bitterness and despair early in the film, to feel his loneliness in one of the most populated cities on Earth. But the film is far from being emotional torture porn. It's sometimes genuinely funny, namely in those parts where both lead characters communicate with their most important person (the colleague, the upstairs neighbor) and even if these obviously have a great deal of problems as well, including loneliness or taking care of a very sick partner for 15 years. The scene with the chili in the basket was hilarious and brought some great comic relief that moment.

And that was only one of many smart scenes that perfectly display the characters' emotions or state of minds. You can also mention the children in the yard and how they interact with Khan's character, the ventilator metaphor (with the people below them and their similarities, coma patient and office worker) which may very well be the greatest symbolism I've seen in theaters all year. Another great scene is the moment where his new colleague invites Khan's character and he rejects the invitation for the same evening as he's so deep down in his shell he needs preparation time for such a seemingly normal event. Very authentic display and that is exactly the way it is. Then there's the scene where he asks him to be his best man, scenes where he watches the old shows his wife loved or a scene where he makes a joke and you can see the impact of loneliness on his ability to make jokes or the empty lunchbox after the unsuccessful meeting, the aging without realizing... And there's many more scenes I didn't mention that made the movie the most wonderful experience for me. "The Lunchbox" is one of the saddest films of the year and, at the same time, one of the best, probably my number 2 of 2013 at this point.

I'm not sure if there's a movie where I would say that if you liked this, you'll have a great time watching "The Lunchbox" as well. The closest I can think of is "Lost in Translation", which has some parallels, even if, compared to the Coppola movie, all the interaction here happens merely in written form. The ending is pretty good too. It was not entirely happy the way I hoped it would be, no big emotional bank like for "Lost in Translation", but still it was in a way uplifting and maybe more realistic and puts a smile on your lips. And you can speculate nicely how things will go from there.

So to sum it all up, I really really loved "The Lunchbox". I was always curious about the next note the two would exchange and it probably could have run for at least another hour to meet the extreme length of many Indian films these days and I wouldn't have been bored a bit. It doesn't have spectacular music or dancing as you may know it from a few Indian films these days, but it does have many sequences with very tasty food. Is there something I criticize about this film? Actually there is: the fact that I missed watching it at the premiere with the cast and director around. Ten of ten.
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Subtle, simple and refreshingly fresh
ravi-cramchandani20 September 2013
The first glimpse of the movie , promises you that it is't a 'just another regular bollywood movie', its refreshingly Fresh and New.

The beauty of the entire film lies in the subtlety, whether be it the story, the the actors, characters their mannerisms(when their lips quiver on getting excited, their long and deep searching eyes, the half smiles on the edges, when Ila first time presumes her husband to have an extra-marital affair). Again all of these things are very much there without they saying it explicitly so.

Very rarely you come across a movie that moves at a comfortable pace, not trying to either rush or stagnate itself at any point. The TG for this movie is definitely not people across all age groups as the producers claim, but it's specially for those who are happy or contented without searching for that something extra in their everyday lives. It doesn't talk about any extra ordinary accomplishments of individuals, nor does it talk about destiny, life or happiness. It just talks about very simple human behavior, when it comes to falling in love.

The end may or may not disappoint you...its very subjective(personally I was a lil), but yea you can tailor your apt end based on whether you are a optimist or a pessimist.
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U have to see it to believe it that such a product has been dished out of Bollywood
karun_kumar22 September 2013
THE LUNCHBOX- A poignant and heart warming tale that seems like a whiff of fresh air amidst all the hullabaloo the audiences have been exposed to in recent memory. It has depicted the pathos of 2 principal characters with panache n each n every single frame of the film seems to have been meticulously dealt with. One dialogue still lingers in your mind long after the film has finished "Sometimes the wrong train takes u to the right destination". It's so so good to see good ol' letters being exchanged in an era of e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp n mobile phones. Somewhere it touches the very core n essence of that golden era which I had never been born in but now surely have the experience to cherish it via such gems which come once in a long, long while. The best part is that all melodrama has been avoided except for the cameo by Lilette Dubey. All the emotions have been expressed in a very subtle manner in contrast to over-the-top melodrama which has been the staple diet of Bollywood films n how they play with our emotions by being tearjerkers. This film pricks your conscience n compels u to think. It makes u root for the protagonists even as they march onto their respective destinies. It makes u realize there's a silver lining of hope that really makes u fly. I really wish if it could be India's official entry to the Oscars for 2013.
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Great story line, effortless performances, definitely worth a watch!
bionmba20 September 2013
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.

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Must enjoy the spicy curry in the LUNCHBOX
sonalijagwani21 September 2013
Must watch with a full stomach, else you'll have a watering mouth every five minutes while watching the plot. India is a country where we give utmost importance to food & family. This story, packed in a Lunchbox, comes to your table & gives you a flavor of Indian ethnicity & the emotions we go through in everyday life !

The overcrowded local trains, Harvard certified Mumbai Dabbawalas, Amidst busy working hours, an irritating yet likable junior And the best friend "Aunty" to a direction less housewife

All this should be enough to drag you to the cinema house & enjoy the spicy curry in the LUNCHBOX.
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A surprisingly brilliant experience
kaul-tushar21 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
When you go into a movie, one of whose somewhat reliable review claimed it to be the best movie to have come out of India in the last 10 years, you are bound to have certain expectations and in retrospect a mind ready for a brutal disappointment at the end and yet there comes a time when something does not just live up to the expectations, but far exceeds them in almost every way. Lunchbox works at so many levels that it might get unpleasant at times for a casual viewer due to the roller-coaster screenplay where a seemingly comical exchange of dialogues suddenly takes a drop-dead serious turn and you have still not stopped laughing. But all throughout the movie everything appearing comical is in a way dark humor surrounding the landscape of the plot.

The movie explores loneliness in a way radically different from what we are used to in Indian cinema. I was so much reminded of Wong Kar Wai's In Mood for Love throughout the movie. Although the movie doesn't work on the same plot, but the essence has a lot in common. A lonely retiree who has reached the brink of his active adult life with no one to count on in his fading days and a young housewife caught in the bustle of fast life in the 21st century where an early child seems to have created a huge void in the household. The movie sets off with a very gloomy undertone in the rain drenched by-lanes of Mumbai. Ritesh Batra brings out the melancholy and solitude in the life of these two people through the Mumbai dabbawalla network and it's so natural and so simplistic that it works out very well.

He has not built the movie into a conventional love story, but like I said, it reminded me so much of 'In the Mood for Love'. And the screenplay and narrative leaves a lot at the viewer's prerogative. The relationship between Irfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur is somewhat like what Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson had in 'Lost in Translation'. There are so many open ended threads in the story and there is no attempt made at justifying or unnecessarily elaborating them. It redifines love in a way we don't see in Hindi cinema usually and then lets the viewers take their own pick how they want to leave with the story.The editing is very crisp and very tight. Honestly, the movie as a whole was a huge surprise and the experience just gets better.

The performances makeup and locations are perfectly suited for the story. The movie brings out Mumbai on the screen in a way that perfectly suits it. Apparently heirless Irfan Khan's huge lonely house in high bustle of Bandra, or the young couple's small budget flat where although you can shout out and talk to the neighbour above, yet strange loneliness thrives and drives a housewife to discuss her family problems with a complete stranger though lunch boxes. The longing for good old past on part of both loners is very well showcased. The movie works very well. Performance wise Irfan Khan is brilliant like always. An exceptional follow-up to Pan Singh Tomar. He plays out a 60 year old so well, that Naseeruddin Shan might've already called up his agent to drop a couple hundred thousands off his asking price. Nimrat Kaur does full justice to her role as the lonely housewife. Nawazzundin Sidiqui plays out a role different from what we have now got used to off late. But it's the story and the way that it has been executed that makes it all the more brilliant.

It's good to know that there are people like Ritesh Batra who are doing some remarkable work in the otherwise mediocre Hindi cinema of today. What was even more surprising was to find Karan Johar as one of the producers. This one act of his has suddenly improved his stature in my books. It was disappointing to know that this movie was turned down in favor of 'The Good Road' as official Indian entry for Oscars. Definitely a stupid decision, as I do not see any reason why Lunchbox wouldn't have gone one to win the award.

A must watch for anyone who has given up on Hindi cinema.
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An intimate and wholesome meal which leaves you craving for a second helping...
sourish-halder20 September 2013
Imagine a intimate multi course meal... The premise of the taste provided by a subtle soup... The appetite increases with a delicious appetizer ... The bitter sweetness of a Karela Ki Sabji ... The softness and comfort of Paneer Kofta... The whiff of romance like a fragrant Mutton Biriyani ... The subtlety yet spiciness of a Keema Pav ... The wholeness and simplicity of Daal Chawal ... The added tang of a pickle ... The sweetness of a Rabdi and the twist of a Paan ...

The flavor of The Lunchbox lingers on your taste buds long after the ending credits roll ... making you long for a second helping and another helping and another ... The performances , the beautiful yet simple story of a love that begins with a small humanly mistake of probably the most efficient set of people in India and not to forget the brilliant ending which basically forces the viewer to make his/her assumption make The Lunchbox an excellent meal. A meal which is made and served with love that not only lingers in your taste buds but in your mind for days to come.

Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddqui in the film are like the wonderful south Indian breakfast combination of Idli-Vada ... you cannot imagine this combination without any one of the components. A beautiful and haunting turn by Nimrat Kaur. Its as if every meal she cooks or every dish she prepares... its her life in the dishes. Credit goes to Ritesh Batra for having a masterstroke in the form of the ever helping Aunty ... you got to watch the movie to find it out.

For once chuck the spicy fare or the continental gourmet creations ... go for this homemade meal ... Bhindi and Paneer Kofta never tasted this good.
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A Lunchbox to fill you craving for a good Bollywood movie
kirankumarfrank22 September 2013
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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Lonely people connect over misdelivered meals
maurice_yacowar13 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
From different contexts two characters cite the same adage: "Sometimes the wrong train gets you to the right station." The duplication confirms the implication of the saying: A larger harmony may overlay the apparent chaos and insularity of our lives.

The food delivery error finds the right recipient: not the neglectful, unfaithful husband Rajeev (for whom it's intended) but the genuinely appreciative and needy widower Saajan. In the days of cellphones and email the two strangers' connection by paper notes smuggled in the food-tins speaks of older traditions and values. Even if all the paper files and manual accounting in Saajan's claims department are curiously archaic.

Since losing his wife Saajan is tight, silent, unexpressive. His colleagues warn his trainee Shaikh that he won't get anything out of Saajan. He's removed from his colleagues and alienated from his neighbors. Ila is almost equally isolated, despite being married, with a delightful daughter and a cheery adviser in the upstairs "Auntie." Ila can't get any affection or notice from Rajeev and finds another's perfume on his shirts. Because we don't see Auntie she doesn't register as an actual relief from Ila's isolation. So the stranger's notes appreciating her cooking and sharing his observations and feelings — and attending to hers — are enough to excite Ila, even to give her hope that she may find an alternative more fulfilling relationship. At both ends of the meal's transmission the two fantasize a relationship. This meal provides multiple nourishment. It's enough to prompt Saajan to forgo early retirement and Ila to leave her husband.

A key motif is the faint register of an individual in a mass. This is most clear in the montage that follows Ila's food-cans through the daily delivery, one bundle barely discerned amid the mass. Her fertile green case stands out in the drab crowd. So, too, the noisy teeming crowd — in First-Class, yet — on Saajan's commute to/from work. In the last photo at Sheikh's wedding his sole representative Saajan is almost framed out as the camera shifts to include the bride's extending family.

But the film stays open-ended. If we prefer the pre-couple's romantic hopes we can infer that Saajan, back from his retirement spot and traveling with the food-deliverers, will get to Ila before her daughter returns from school and the three will depart together.

But if our experience rather tends toward the tragic expectation, they won't meet. Her alienation deepened by her mother's relief at her lately disgusting husband's death, and by learning Saajan has moved away, Ila may well commit suicide. The shot of her removing her jewellery replays her visualization of the news story of the mother who jumped with her child to death. As Ila thinks the letter she may or may not send Saajan (p.s., How?) her morbid emotions might drive her off before her daughter returns from school. Hence her wistful look as the girl left. This ending would recall the near-misses that fatally thwart the romance of Romeo and Juliet.

The comic subplot of Shaikh and his beloved, who ran away from home to be with him, could support either reading. These lovers' perseverance ends in family acceptance and success. So it could parallel the romantic union of Ila and Saaja. Equally, though, it could be cited as a dramatic counterpoint to the older lovers' tragedy.

If we're not given one certain ending the director is suggesting that the ending doesn't matter. Whether or not the lovers meet and settle in together, both have grown from the experience. Warmed by the idea of having a girlfriend, Saajan has opened out to Shaikh and to his neighbours' children. He is already living a happier life, his emotions reawakened. And whether or not Saajan gets to her in time, Ila has worked up the courage to escape her stifling marriage. Whether it's romance or death, the wrong train could still find the right station — if only by leaving the wrong one. For more see
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Outstanding !!
n_dhruv21 September 2013
You will enjoy this lunch box.Irrfan Khan excellent totally fabulous.Nawazuddin Siddiqui was too good and appreciable.Nimrat Kaur has done good job.There are so many moments that you will enjoy and will remember after the end.There are so many comedy sequences which will make you laugh at high point.Movie's flow is very nice.Mostly this type of movie getting bored after some point but this lunch box you will enjoy.Best part of the movie is there is not a song which makes movie's flow fluent.You will enjoy the whole movie but it will disappoint you on its climax.Climax is just unexpected.You will start imaging the end and what is next going to happen and than you will see the end.Writer has written this story so smartly but he failed in climax.For the commercial and simple cinema watching people this lunch box is for you only others won't like this that much.Overall you will enjoy this lunch box but last piece will disappoint you !!
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How to Make a Great Movie with Low-Budget
claudio_carvalho14 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
In Mumbai, the lonely widower Saajan Fernandes (Irrfan Khan) is the responsible for the account department of a company and is near retirement. He is assigned to train his replacement Shaikh (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), who is a needy orphan. One day, Fernandes mistakenly receives the lunchbox prepared by the housewife Ila (Nimrat Kaur) to her estranged husband Rajeev (Nakul Vaid) and Fernandes believes that the restaurant where he buys his food improved the meal. On the next day, he receives a note from Ila inside the lunchbox and they begin to correspond to each other. Ila suspects that her husband is having a love affair and everyday Fernandes and Ila become anxious to read the note from the other. One day, Ila invites Fernandes to meet her in a restaurant. What will be their reactions in the encounter?

"The Lunchbox" is a lesson of how to make a great movie with low-budget. The story is very simple, but the screenplay holds the attention of the viewer to the last scene. The direction and the performances are top- notch. There are very few locations and scenarios. The open end is excellent, giving the chance to the viewer to guess what might be the fate of Ila and Fernandes. I believe they will travel together with her daughter to Bhutan. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "The Lunchbox"
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Indeed an experience
hollow-sheel22 September 2013
1000 Words aren't enough to tell what this movie made one feel but to say the least this movie was indeed an experience its one of those simple movie one long to see and this one shows what really Indian Cinema means. It is away from that pompous culture we often try to show which are more often than not aloof from real life yet it doesn't make one feel one is watching a documentary. It is not one of those movies with lessons yet it touches so many simple topics life which now no one has time to discuss or probably don't even need too any more. Its simply pure cinematic pure theatrical pure form of art played and showcased right in front of you. Will not be using much words but would indeed like to say i will live this movie again and again just be part of this very simple life played in front of me. Irrfan has been indeed a genius in all his subtlety and Nimrat is committed and convincing in the character she portrays.
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A lunch-box which holds surprises galore !!!
muktadeer22 September 2013
A complete experience, worth every penny spent, no song and dance routines, no action scenes, no loud jokes, and still this one is exquisite ........... for the simple reason that it is story telling at its best , most of the times, there were no dialogs , but the message was conveyed every time.

With the fine ensemble of actors, the performances need not be spoken about , Irfan , Nimrat and Nawazuddin were so real and so very much like people around us and not to forget the aunty upstairs (not showing her was a masterstroke) .........

Bravo to the entire team for daring to make a movie so unconventional and yet so amazing !!! Hats Off !!!
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varunn201022 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The Lunchbox is probably the best movie in a long long time. The simplicity of the characters and the plot tugs at your heart strings. Bollywood usually dumbs down already lackluster scripts underestimating the intelligence of the audiences, sometimes unintentionally so. But every scene of 'The Lunchbox' conveys meaning without putting it in as many words. Irrfan Khan I dare say is in the league of the best actors globally and not just in India. 'Shaikh' and 'Ila' are also extremely powerful characters in this movie.

Commendable performance, script and a beautiful package really that will be etched in my memories forever
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it will move you from the core
amitkem22 September 2013
Never ever i have felt so strong a urge to write a review. so writing one The lunchbox is a take on the pace of life based on day to day things which we never think about. It describes the void in life which every other person has but is never able to accept or justify it.Why? Well the answer lies in the movie and you should definitely watch this one. So nicely crafted this is true movie-making. The background music aptly reverberates the tone of the movie and the editing is flawlessly done.

One should never leave circumstances take control of one and float on it. But he should try to end it or at least change it.

Irfan khan is a masterpiece crafted by god. The confused look, the restricted expressions all add to the movie brilliantly. Nawaz is yet another piece of wonder.

The directors vision is so clear and it shows in the movie. Watch this one because it will move you from the core.
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Its One of The Finest Films Made in India
ami_shuvo1722 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
'The Lunchbox' is a wondrous film. I thought of five different ways I could make the opening of this review more appealing but then that would be ironical given that the film thrives on its gift of fluid simplicity. The story revolves around two characters brought together by a fortuitous mistake, that of the hallowed dabbawala delivering the wrong lunch box. An ageing widower is accidentally fed a sumptuous meal cooked by a young wife angling for her husband's affections through the proverbial gastronomic route. The dabba returns to the wife in the evening and so does the apathy of the aloof husband, oblivious of the slipup. The elements which prompt her to cook with the same vigour the following day, yet not flag the previous day's mistake with the messenger conspires further when an unsure correspondence is struck between the two - He, true to his staid economy of words and she, to her clamant need to confide. The platter changes with time as anonymity breeds confidence between two unsuspecting strangers. They gravitate towards each other, bound by the cords of empathy and their own private miseries. What is most tantalizingly beautiful is how the mirthless Fernandez rediscovers his zest for life in these letters yet cannot bring himself to tear down his prison of laconic brevity. He basks in the glory of having bought a painting of a city landscape which has him in it, or so he thinks. He plays the reformed 'selfish giant' with kids, tries to quit smoking, proclaims unabashedly of having a 'girlfriend' to a young couple and then in an moment of inspiration proposes a refuge from their miserable lives – a promise to build anew. But, just when he is about to launch into his flight of resurrection does he stumble upon the paralyzing reality of mortality and its attendant anxieties. He finds his chains too comfortingly familiar for him to wish away in return for an unknown territory and its uncertainties. Doubt gets the better of him. The story ends amidst the same mosaic of urban chaos as it started in and with it we come to a grudging acceptance of the limitations of our ordinary lives - Lives which would have been rendered joyless if not for a few sparks of brilliance lending the quiet satisfaction of having lived a full life, a good life.
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sweet simple delicious!!
vihardesai4122 September 2013
After watching this type of movie it is difficult not to write about this movie. After leaving the cinema hall only two words strike in my heart and mind WOW & HOW!! WOW factor for the superb concept,screenplay,characters,performance & especially some sweet moment which bring sweet smile on your face!! which make lunch box more delicious

HOW factor for how they can make such an unexpected end rest of the part is so outstanding,which make you more curious to know what next but there is nothing to watch next for the viewers!! viewers think its climax starting but that is actually end of the movie(endless)!! which make lunch box bit of salty!! but fully enjoy rest of parts and scenes and outstanding acting by all the characters

LAST WORDS: it is one of the best lunch box i ever eat(sorry mom) but at end because of this food,i suffered with some stomach problem!! but at whole enjoy the flavor!! Brain says 'NO' Heart says 'GO'..!!
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Slow and Repetitive!!!
nithin-364-2826027 September 2013
This is what I feel rightly describes "The Lunchbox". A movie touted to be in race for the Oscars has been rightly discarded by the jury. The main flaw here is a short film being made into full length feature which has drastically effected its narration. The story may be new in Bollywood but then the slow narration has taken a front seat here. There are a few good things here though..."Nawazuddin Siddique" is the main asset of the movie and his presence here is a treat. Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur are good in their parts but as mentioned above the movie is too slow. The story here is also too plain and its seriously a documentary turned movie so you cant really expect much.

Verdict: This movie is neither art nor is it entertainment lies in the between and is a totally "Average" movie

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Slow-paced character drama that is a treat to watch
dbogosian-115 August 2014
There were so many ways this movie could have gone wrong:

  • It could have had a formulaic conclusion

  • It could have been all about the food

  • It could have dwelt on the organizational prowess of the dabbawalas (Bombay's famed lunch delivery servicemen)

But it did none of the above, and it's a fantastic gem that lingers in your imagination long after you've seen it.

Ila is an Indian wife and mother trying desperately to regain her husband's affection by going to great lengths to prepare his daily lunch, which is delivered to his office. However, Ila soon realizes that the lunch is going to someone entirely different: Saajan, an office worker who is about to retire and be replaced by a young overeager newbie (Shaikh). Saajan loves his lunches, and begins corresponding with Ila via notes left in the lunchbox. Meanwhile, Saajan's initial loathing for Shaikh develops into tolerance and eventually friendship.

Like all great movies, this one excels in its story, its characters, and the prowess of the actors who portray them. We are so drawn to Ila, her anxiety to capture her husband's attentions, and her inner torment as she suspects his infidelity. Saajan is very off-putting at first, but as we learn more about his past, we see him more sympathetically. Their exchange of notes is so full of deep insight and philosophical reflection on the human condition. Shaikh as well turns out to be both more and less than what we had initially expected.

Watching Irfan Khan play Saajan was a treat. The camera stays on him for minutes on end as he opens the lunchbox, unpacks its contents, sniffs each dish, samples from this and that, all at a very leisurely pace. And he is able to convey his appreciation for the food without exaggeration, without overacting, but with subtle signs of growing interest which are so true to life. You can just smell the curries as he tentatively takes a whiff of this and that dish. He definitely deserves an award for this role. Also the way he grows out of his initial antipathy towards Shaikh is just marvelous.

As a side benefit, this movie gives an excellent view into the lives of middle-class Indian families: where they live, what they eat, how they get to and from work.

The film is brooding, melancholy, although it also has an uplifting and optimistic strain woven through its fabric. It does require patience from the viewer, but that patience is amply rewarded. Truly one of the most memorable films I have ever seen, and well worth seeking out.
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Love, Longing & Loneliness
andydgr86 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
It's rare to come across a film which celebrates the ordinariness of life so endearingly. We need more of these. Caught up in the dull monotony of our daily routines, we forget how a single flicker of love is enough to lend such light, life and meaning to our everyday existence that everything seems illuminated. As the male protagonist mentions once in the film,"You forget things when you have no one to tell them to."Yes we need to remind ourselves and 'The Lunchbox' does precisely that. It wakes us up to the beauty and music of our everyday life.

It's a heartwarming film with a lovely plot. A lunchbox (dabba) being mistakenly delivered leads to an unexpected relationship between a neglected housewife,Ila and a lonely widower about to retire, Saajan as they start exchanging notes with each other through the daily lunchbox.

It's refreshing to watch two old souls, strangers to each other, connecting through scribblings in the distracted age of facebook, twitter, instant messaging etc. As their bond develops, they open up their hearts to each other. They pour out all their hopes, dreams, sorrows and even memories of the loved ones they've lost on to sheets of paper. What was that quote? Ah yes! At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet. The film bears witness to that. lt makes for some truly evocative cinema. 'The Lunchbox' tastes like a sumptuous dish made of love, longing, nostalgia and loneliness.

Writer-Director Ritesh Batra must be applauded for infusing soul into his work by imbuing it with so many rich details. Set in Mumbai, the film offers a poetic portrayal of the heart of the city as it captures the detailed journey of a lunchbox from the home-kitchen to the office desk. We get to see the city with it's millions spilling out of locals, people shining shoes, painting street art , sitting behind their office desks , cramped up in their middle-class apartments and so on. Essentially, ordinary folks going about their lives while trying to survive in a bustling city.

Irrfan Khan is amazing as the widower(Saajan) who's withdrawn into a shell while bearing the emptiness of life. From the furrowed brow and reserve of a lonely soul to the smiling eyes of a man who finds his heart opening up to life around him(when he falls in love), he's got all the nuances of his character right. He's wonderfully supported in his performance by Nawazuddin Siddiqui who plays a character who's almost the opposite of Saajan- a cheerful talkative man called Shaikh who will replace him at the office once he retires. As an orphan who's made it on his own he 's eager to find a father figure to look up to. It's a joy to see the dynamic between the elder Saajan and Shaikh evolve as Saajan slowly warms up to the endearing Shaikh who believes in making the most of every opportunity.

Nimrat Kaur makes an impressive debut as Ila, a real housewife whose lonely life has been reduced to a series of chores. She plays a caring mother trapped in a loveless marriage. Her sad lost eyes seem to be searching for reasons to carry on living. She makes a desperate attempt to infuse life into a failed marriage by whipping up a delicious meal for her cold husband only to find that it was delivered to someone else.

Today, when the technology has become so advance that has made communication so easy that people use "Whatsapp" even to call a friend who is sitting in the room next to their room, The lunchbox relies on the age old formula of communication through letters, and it does it so effectively that you don't complaint why the two main characters don't exchange phone numbers or why they don't use any other media to communicate.

No words are enough to praise the writer-director Ritesh Batra, in his maiden direction venture, Ritesh has shown a great amount of maturity in his work. Mumbai is shot and described so beautifully that made the city a character in the film, every detail is captured beautifully. Though some will find the ending a bit abrupt, but that's how it is, realistic and different, there couldn't be a better end for the script.

The lunchbox is one such rare film that makes u feel proud of Indian cinema. One should see and appreciate such brilliant piece of work to encourage filmmakers to give us more films like this , else we would be tortured with more Dabanggs and Bodyguards. As a line in the film goes,"Sometimes even the wrong train can take you to the right destination", 'The Lunchbox' truly manages to showcase the hope/promise of the unexpected and the unpredictable. It captures that touch of magic that only the unknown lends to our lives. Don't miss this one!
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