Cast: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Director: Ritesh Batra
Imagine: You are a working middle-aged man and there are only dead ends in your dead beat life with no friends, no family members and same mundane routine where at work you push files of similar kinds for years and eat the same food every day, and then one afternoon you pull your lunchbox towards yourself and your life changes. An unknown fragrance with delicious food wafts out of the dabba, you pause, you look around and wonder if it is yours. Instead of tasteless, dull, regular food, you get to eat homemade variety delicacies. It would definably bring smile to your mouth and eyes.
This movie is a treat to the soul.
Irrfan playing Saajan Fernandes makes you see middle aged man leading normal and dull life working in insurance company settling claims. This is one of his finest performances. ILA (Nimrat Kaur) has played role of a young stay-at-home mother of a daughter whose routine is typically the same every day. Wake up, get kiddo ready for school, see of husband, sort out clothes for wash, prepare dabba for husband, and collect dabba from the dabbawala and small chats with neighbor. (We never get to see her, only hear her). She gives ILA pro tips on recopies, seasoning, ingredients and condiments to target her husband (Nakul vaid) with the intension of revitalizing their love.
“The Lunchbox” s about a dabba that is fetched at the wrong table to a wrong person completely unknown. It is movie about two lonely people in life who get attracted towards each other over letters exchanged in lunch box. They describe their life, happiness, and sorrows with each other by writing letters to each other. Director and writer of the movie have also included other 2 characters in the movie to add some voice in silence. Nawazuddin (sheikh) is an irritant who works as Saajans replacement has managed to demand attention in rightful way while sharing frame with Irrfan Khan.
Though the screenplay is repetitive and the story gets too slow, but the maturity of the characters keeps the rigor alive. Scenes where she struggles to impress her husband, makes good recipes, Lillete Dubey’s (playing mother to Ira) reaction to losing her husband, conversation with neighbor are well shot.
All the 3 main characters of the movie completely justify the role. Though the movie doesn’t belong to mainstream bandwagon with no songs or dance or glamorous outfits, its story line, acting and dialogue delivery are worth a watch.