More than its love angle shown in the promos, The Lunchbox is that heartwarming experience of seeing two people facing their loneliness by sharing their feelings. Rooted characters that communicates sensibly with the audience and also the variety of emotions and contrast in decisions of the two generations in taking a final decision; all these makes The Lunchbox really yummy as it offers some moments for us to think through the characters when the credits starts to roll.
The story here has Mr Saajan Fernandez who’s going to leave his job in a month’s time. Saajan’s wife passed away a few years back and he is a lonely/ slightly stubborn character who doesn’t mingle much. From one day onwards Saajan starts to get delicious food from his daily Dabba which was actually prepared by a housewife Ila for her husband. From this mistake from the Dabba wala, an interesting relationship starts and both Ila and Saajan starts sharing their views and problems through letters concealed in these Dabbas. How these conversations and certain life events influence both of them and how they decide to handle the solitude is what The Lunch Box basically all about.
The beauty of the movie is in its sweet narrative. Even when it enters that slightly darker phase in its second half, an amount of sweetness is there which will show you a lot of happiness. The stories they share like the story of the unseen aunty and her husband who is in coma, the one where Saajan writes to Ila about the importance of telling someone about the past, the reaction of Ila’s mother and some more minor stories are there which reduces the distance towards the characters. The annoying and humble Shaikh and his stories are also on the sweeter side even though it is quite melodramatic on real terms.
Ritesh Batra has conceived the movie very beautifully. Loved the way he used the expressions and silences of his characters. There are no dramatic explanations for anything and leaving the share of the thought process to the viewer makes it more intriguing. The humor that evokes naturally is really cool and the emotional sequences are also quite reasonable. The dialogs are really interesting. Nice cinematography and the edits are also fine.
Irrfan Khan is simply perfect for the role of Saajan Fernandez as he generates that heavy attitude and gradual elevation very comfortably. As I said earlier the movie uses even the silences of the characters and there are quite a few scenes where Irrfan conveys it with gestures. Nimrat Kaur is also really sweet as that typical busy housewife. Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Shaikh was also very impressive. There is a kind of grin in Shaikh’s face in every situation that shows the innocence of the character and Nawazuddin has portrayed it really well.
Overall, The Lunch Box is eligible for the sweet and soulful tag. The rating is 4/5 from my side. It’s always a pleasure to have characters and their backdrops in your head after watching a cinema.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended