The Lunchbox, written and directed by #RiteshBatra (Debut as a feature film writer and director), is one of the sweetest love stories of Indian cinema, with all the amazing flavours. When the lives of the individuals aren’t enough spiced, an ingredient that is added into their story by chance, and this story starts shaping. Can love happen without meeting is what this story questions and by the end of the film, it makes us believe this too. It is said that if you have a good content; you don’t need anything else to make a great film. The Lunchbox is an example of that.

People say that good food is the way towards Indian men’s heart. Ila (#NimratKAur) knows that very well, maybe because of the advices she gets from her neighbour, Mrs. Deshpande. The romance in her married life is dying, so to spice it up once again, she tries on impress her husband by sending delicious food in his lunchbox. But one fateful day, because of the mistaken delivery by the #dabbawala, the lunchbox is delivered to widower, about to retire accountant Saajan Fernandas (#IrrfanKhan). The lunchbox doesn’t only contain good food but a letter too. And exchange of the note sent back and forth with the lunchbox sprouts a friendship between the two, as they share their personal stories, through quirky and sweet notes. At work, Saajan is tasked with training his replacement, Shaikh (#NawazuddinSiddiqui). Shaikh is initially annoying to Saajan, but gradually they too get to know each other better, and become friends.

The film is a genuine effort to explore human needs of being loved and of being appreciated. There is an innocence in the story, and more than that a realism. The desires of characters are so real and common that I feel every one can connect to it at one level or another.

This movie is also a tribute to the Mumbai’s famously efficient “dabbawalas”. After making a few short films, Ritesh started researching for a documentary on the famous lunchbox delivery system of Mumbai, dabbawalas, known for their efficiency. But instead of making the documentary, he end up writing a film script by listening to personal stories of those dabbawalas.

The Lunchbox was nominated for the Film Not in the English Language category of the British Academy Film Awards 2015. The film was screened at International Critics’ Week at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and later won the Critics Week Viewers Choice Award also known as Grand Rail d’Or. It was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Along with Ritesh Batra, who won many awards throughout India, all three actors’ work were really appreciated and applauded. The Lunchbox was considered by many people throughout the year to be a lock as India’s selection for the 86th Academy Awards Best Foreign Film Category, with many critics unanimously praising it and voting for it to be the representative film. However, the selection committee of the Film Federation of India deliberated on 17 September 2013 and decided to send the Gujarati film The Good Road instead.

Oh Yes! I was damn hungry when the movie ended, though satisfied too.

Baljeet Randhawa

Baljeet Randhawa

Writer from Bhopal. Theatre Director and Co- Founder of Dream Stage Theatre along with Scriptors. Shy Actor performs rarely.
Baljeet Randhawa