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The Lunchbox Review - Satisfies Your Cinematic Appetite..

Dated : September, 19, 2013 BY Divya Solgama

Ratings : star


Before the rise of cable cinema and the satellite channels, the only source of watching movies for our cinema lovers' was on national television through Doordarshan. They used to screen films on every sunday evening along with few artistic or realistic films on late friday night show. Most of these films used to be from their sister concern N.F.D.C (National Film Development Corporation), which used to finance small budget films.These films used to be simple, artistic and meaningful cinema. Films like 'JaaneBhi Do Yaaron', 'Mirch Masala', 'Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda', 'Ek Doctor Ki Maut', 'Pestonjee', 'Salaam Bombay', 'Mammo', etc. are some of the gems from this unique film corporation house. Recently, there was a huge decline in the production of films from this corporation and films that released too, were not properly marketed or promoted. But this year they are back with a bang and have associated themselves with big production houses and popular names attached to it in form of their latest film 'The Lunchbox'. Right from its first promo, the film gives you the feeling of watching a feel good film with slice of life type cinema. Many times the actual films are drastically opposite to their promos. Thus let's find out whether 'The Lunchbox' may be as good as its promos are or might be like those films with unique and good concept but on overall basis ends up on a disappointing note.

The Lunchbox Review


'The Lunchbox' is story of a middle aged widower Fernandez {Irrfan Khan} who accidently receives a lunch box made by a housewife Ila {Nimrat Kaur}. As Ila discovers that the lunchbox has been delivered on a wrong address, she sends a letter along with the food again for Fernandez. This starts the cute and sweet bonding of exchanging letters between these two unknown people. What happens next is what the entire film is all about.

Screenplay & Technicalities:

Story might remind you of films like 'Sirf Tum' or 'You've Got Mail' but believe me besides the whole treatment and premise of this movie it is total different and unique. The writer beautifully uses the Mumbai dabbawala, local trains along with the office going crowd of commercial part of Mumbai city as the backdrop of the film. Due to which you might feel the magic of few middle class based films like 'Choti Si Baat', 'Baaton Baaton Mein', 'Piya Ka Ghar', etc. The story might be one liner type but has loads of sweet and touching moments between the main protagonists of the film. Scenes like Irfaan's first reaction over the food followed by his reaction at the time of receiving the first letter, Nimrat's talk with Bharti Achrekar, Irfaan's scolding the small kids, Nawazuddin trying to interact with Irfaan, Irfaan scaring Nawazuddin followed by their talks over Bhutan at the lunch time, Irfaan firing Nawazuddin, Irfaan's-Nawazuddin's chat over the dinner, etc. are fantastic. Also the letter interaction (Which might remind you of the Farooq Sheikh - Shabhana Azmi's play "Tumhari Amrita") scenes like the introduction chat, banana joke, Bharti Achrekar's fan incident, Irfaan's train travel incident followed by him sharing about his wife and old T.V shows and many more not only brings a big smile on your face but at times also gives you a lump in your throat. These beautifully written scenes are superbly performed by the lead protagonist of the film which keeps you glued through the silver screen.

The Lunchbox Movie Review

On the flip side, the last part of the film gets a bit stretched which slows down the pace of the film. Also, the climax might come up as a surprise too as you want to see more of these realistic people. Camera work is superb and does proper justice to the film. The whole soul of Mumbai city's busy life has been beautifully used in the film. Editing is great till the last part of the film, which should have been little tighter. You will love the crisp editing between two scenes fantastically connected with each other.

Music & Direction:

There are no songs in this slice of life type film, but the background score is mind blowing. The usage of local Mumbai dabbawala song, Bhutan song {which might remind you of a Kishore Kumar's song - Kaun sunega kisko sunaye'}, Film songs {Saajan, Raja Hindustani} and many more in the background adds the fine detailing to the film.

The Lunchbox Wallpaper

Director Ritesh Batra made few short films and portrayed his potential as a good director. But with 'The Lunchbox' he joins the elite list of ace film makers who makes a beautiful film out of a simple story line with good detailing and extracting fantastic performance by the lead actors. He makes you feel the romance and bonding between his lead pair. It's after ages we see a proper middle class based film without any unwanted stuff attached to it.


Irfaan Khan gives another astonishing performance. He makes you believe in his character with his expressions, body moments and mannerisms. His voice modulation along with facial expressions sync brilliantly. He is simply flawless in this film. Nawazuddin Siddiqui proves that with a small role too he can prove his presence and give a brilliant performance. NimratKaur as the unhappy housewife looks sweet and charming. It's very tough to match up to the level of ace actors like Irfaan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui and surprisingly here, Nimrat comes at par with them. Nakul Vaid was wasted. Lillete Dubey was not in her best form. The usage of Bharati Achrekar voice is another gem to look out for.

So bolmeri "FILMI KHOPDI" iss film meinkitnahain Dum?

Dum? Well for all those who love meaningful, feel good, artistic, realistic, performance based type of films this movie is a must watch for all of you. The masses and the masala film lovers might not have much stored for them in this film thus might prefer to stay away from this fine cinema. But for good cinema lovers this movie will definitely satisfy your cinematic appetite and leave you mesmerized.

  • Ratings: 4/5

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