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The Lunchbox – Bollywood film review

Can you fall in love with someone you haven’t met?


The Lunchbox is the story of two strangers who fall in love over a lunchbox of letters. What is interesting to watch in this film is that do they ever meet?

This one has Irrfan’s one of the career best performances playing a middle-aged man Saajan Fernandes. Saajan’s wife having died, having no children, he is a typical single man sort of character who is avoided by all around him.

One day, it so happens that a lunchbox prepared by Ila (Nimrat Kaur) for her husband, by some error, reaches Saajan who shamelessly devours the food and leaves nothing in the empty lunch box which makes Ila realize about the slip-up.

The least one would expect is a thank you atleast, this irked Ila, who sends sends him another lunchbox with a sarcastic note.

This single fellow, shunned by others – responds and suddenly finds him sharing jokes, passion for food. Over a period of time, this gives rise to the desire to meet.

Irrfan has come up with a memorable performance. Nimrat Kaur (who is currently the model for Cadbury soft chocolates) strikingly matches Irrfan’s performance. Nawazuddin as Aslam Shaikh, the trainee in Saajan’s office supports the lead performers very ably.

It’s a monotonous life for Saajan. At home and in his office. The same old faces, pushing old files all day long and having the same old lunch in a dabba carrying the everyday sort of dull food.

For Saajan, it was a treat to see the home made delicacies of the lunch box. The aroma and the taste of home made food. Greedily, he lapped it instantly. After all one doesn’t get the chance of relishing home made food.

Ila’s routine wasn’t interesting either. This young, home maker and a mother, had the daily routine as that of – wake up, see the kid, and then her husband off, get to the routine household chores, then get the dabba ready, and half of the day is just gone. Then the usual chats with her elderly neighbour (Bharati Achrekar)

This becomes a regular affair now. Receiving hand-written notes that come back to her in the empty dabba, and then her replies the next day packed with delicious food.

Saajan greets the smell of home made food with a slight smile – which says a lot.

Those who enjoy the thrills and romance of Bollywood films may skip this one as they might find the story progressing too, too slow.

This is a not to be missed film for those viewers who enjoy the intricacies of lives of different people.



Irrfan Khan – Saajan Fernandez
Nimrat Kaur – Ila
Nawazuddin Siddiqui – Aslam Shaikh
Denzil Smith – Mr Shroff
Bharati Achrekar – Mrs Deshpande
Nakul Vaid – Rajiv (Ila’s husband)
Lillete Dubey – Ila’s mother
Yashvi Puneet Nagar
Banner: UTV Motion Pictures, Dharma Productions, DAR Motion Pictures, Sikhya Entertainment
Produced by Guneet Monga, Anurag Kashyap, Arun Rangachari
Director – Ritesh Batra
Story – Ritesh Batra
Costume Designer – Niharika Khan
Executive Producer – Irrfan Khan, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Ritesh Batra
Production Designer – Shruti Gupte
Screenplay – Ritesh Batra