The film calls out to your heart!
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Director: Ritesh Batra
I had seen and heard a number of rave reviews for this film. Venkat and I went to catch it on Tuesday night at Cinemax Sion.
To be truthful, I love the glitz and glamour in Bollywood films and very rarely see realistic ones. I am not very fond of Irrfan Khan either while I agree that he is a great actor. I have not seen many of his movies.
Ila (Nimrat Kaur) makes her husband’s dabba with a lot of love and effort and is very eager to please. Unfortunately, the dabba with her newest recipes lands up in the hands of Saajan Fernandez (Irrfan Khan) who works in the claims department of a government office. Fernandez is widowed and is about to retire. He usually gets his dabba from a local restaurant and is surprised to taste the delicious meal.
After a couple of days, Ila realises that the dabba is being delivered into wrong hands. She sends a note along with it. That’s how the connection begins. She is lonely and so is he.
The heartrending scene of life in a metropolis like Mumbai hits one while watching the film. It is so sad that a person can feel so lonely in such a crowded city. But that is the story of the widowed Fernandez. He is also ‘khadoos’ by nature, works hard and has no friends.
Only Irrfan Khan can play the role to such perfection.
Nimrat Kaur as Ila has also done an excellent job as the lonely housewife. The letters the two of them write to one another via The Lunchbox is what keeps the film going. It would have been difficult to talk to one another in person. But putting things in a letter seems that much easier.
The relationship between the two is beautifully built through these letters. And one can so relate to the way the film ends, while not necessarily be happy about it.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is a superb actor and he adds some humour to the serious film.
It gladdens one heart as one sees the letters bringing about a change in the protagonists’ lives. Fernandez is shaken out of his indifference to the people around him while Ila decides to leave her cheating husband.
The neighbour’s voice from the above floor adds value to the film. Ila’s little daughter speaks barely a few words, but her eyes say it all.
The film ran for an hour and 49 minutes, was just the ideal length and well edited by John F. Lyons.
VERDICT: A must watch!
RATING: **** ½ (A little short of super)