THE LUNCHBOX

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Wednesday, March 19 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire) stars alongside the radiant Nimrat Kaur in Ritesh Batra’s delightful feature debut, in which a mistaken lunchbox delivery brings together two very different people—a neglected housewife and a grumpy widower on the verge of retirement—and paves the way for an unlikely romance.

In Mumbai, home to over 18 million people, more than 5,000 dabbawallas—lunchbox couriers—navigate chaotic streets to deliver lunches, lovingly prepared by housewives, to working men across the city.

Ila (Kaur) is one such housewife, living in a middle-class neighbourhood with a husband who ignores her. Saajan (Khan) is a beaten-down widower about to retire from his number-crunching job. After Ila realizes that Saajan is receiving the meals meant for her husband, the two begin sending each other letters through the lunchbox. What starts as an innocent exchange about Ila’s cooking gradually develops into something more. Outside the confines of their daily lives, both Ila and Saajan feel free to express themselves in new ways, leading them both to question how they might find happiness.

The Lunchbox paints a nuanced portrait of life in contemporary Mumbai, weaving themes of gender values, social class, and generational differences into its central love story. Batra’s beautifully drawn characters— including Aslam (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), the eager trainee preparing to take over Saajan’s job—and gentle, precise direction simply envelop you. Whether it’s the cooking of a meal, the reading of a letter, or a trip on a crowded train, the film’s small moments culminate in big impact. In a word: enchanting.

Food is enjoyed, lives are changed, and real passion—however chaste—is expressed. Batra has crafted a genuine crowd-pleaser. —Paul Ennis NOW Magazine

  • Director: Ritesh Batra
  • Writers: Ritesh Batra (screenplay), Rutvik Oza
  • Stars: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
  • RATED: PG | 1 HR 44 MIN

 

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