The Lunchbox

2013 | Drama | 105 minutes | Hindi with English subtitles

Info

Ila is a young wife in Mumbai anxious to bring a spark of romance to her marriage with her husband Rajiv. Ila decides to prepare a scrumptious lunch for Rajiv that she feels will please him very much. She uses a local service to deliver the lunchbox from her home directly to Rajiv’s desk at work. But there’s a mixup. Ila’s lunchbox is delivered by mistake to Saajan Fernandes, a widower who is about to retire. Ila writes a note to Saajan about the mixup and places it in the lunchbox. An exchange of messages between Ila and Saajan ignites a friendship between the two as they share memories and events in their lives. In shock, Ila finds out that Rajiv is having an affair. With her marriage crumbling she sends a note to Saajan that she plans to move to Bhutan where the cost of living is less. Saajan suggests they move there together. They decide to meet at a restaurant to discuss this, but Saajan does not show up. Saajan confesses to Ila that he did show up, but when he saw her looking so lovely and young, he got cold feet. Ila is still determined to leave her husband and move to Bhutan with her daughter. Meanwhile, Saajan changes his mind and  decides to look for Ila in the crowded streets of Mumbai. Will they connect or will they each end up  living money lives. 

Cast
Irrfan Khan (Saajan Fernandes) / Nimrat Kaur (Ila) / Nakul Vaid (Rajiv) 
Why Stream This Film?
The Lunchbox provides a searing emotional experience: as cities get more crowded, they can also get more lonely.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 97%
  • Metacritic Score: 76
Accolades
  • 75th Venice Film Festival, Winner, Golden Lion
  • Ten Academy Award Nominations. Winner: Best Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón), Best Cinematographer (Alfonso Cuarón)
  • Festivals: Venice, Telluride, Toronto, New York
  • Best Film of 2018: Time Magazine and The New York Film Critics Circle
Director Ritesh Batra’s story is a smooth blend of pathos and comedy. THE LUNCHBOX doesn’t fit the modern Bollywood mold of flashy musicals and action, but it’s just as easily adored. It’s a bittersweet romance that delivers.
Steve Persall

Tampa Bay Times

Only a few times in my life have I wanted to re-watch a movie right away. Ritesh Batra’s first feature, THE LUNCHBOX, hooked me within the first act. Imagine the life you live, when a short note of a few lines becomes your daily thrill. Here, we follow the quiet lives of disconnected people reaching across the urban noise of Mumbai, reaching for anyone who would listen. Centering around food, it’s a seamless fusion of Satyajit Ray and Nora Ephron, with hints of Akira Kurosawa. 
Omer M. Mozaffar

RogerEbert.com

THE LUNCHBOX is about lonely  souls meeting over Indian tiffin tins. This Mumbai romance skillfully avoids Bollywood clichés to deliver an affecting tale of lunch and love letters.
Mike McCahill

The Guardian

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