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The Lunchbox

“A wistful, elegant love story played out across the streets of Mumbai, The Lunchbox is an unexpectedly aromatic charmer from first-time film-maker Ritesh Batra. Eschewing the pitfalls of what appears, to be a highly schematic set-up, Batra infuses his film with warmth and humanity, delivering delicate visuals of modern Mumbai.
“It’s the subtle flavours that mark The Lunchbox out as such a treat. The premise focusses on the “dabawallahs” who deliver tiffin lunchboxes from housewives across Mumbai to their office worker husbands every day. Numbering 5,000, the dabawallah’s system has been studied by mathematicians and found to be practically failproof.
“The Lunchbox follows a rare failure – from sad and neglected housewife Ila, who has cooked a special meal for her husband to spice up their marriage. But the product of her “magic hands” ends up on the plate of grouchy misanthrope Saajan Fernandez instead. When she adds a note to the next day’s lunchbox the scene is set for an unlikely relationship connecting two sad strangers.
“For his debut, Batra has composed an elegant, soulful film. Poetic in parts with the odd, tiny pinch of magical realism, it’s a quietly confident production. Playing out on crowded commuter trains, rickshaws and old-fashioned taxis, The Lunchbox has a strong visual sense.”
- Fionnuala Halligan, Screen Daily

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