The lunchbox

The lunchbox


DVD - 2014 | Hindi
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Trying to add some spice to her marriage, Ila prepares a special lunchbox for her husband at work. Unbeknownst to her, it is mistakenly delivered to another worker, Saajan. Curious about the lack of reaction from her husband, Ila puts a note in the next day's lunchbox. This begins a series of lunchbox notes between Saajan and Ila, and the communication soon evolves into an unexpected friendship. Ila and Saajan become lost in a virtual relationship that could jeopardize both their lives.


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Sep 26, 2020

One of the best movies from india.

Aug 24, 2020

This is a bitter-sweet film about beginnings and endings. More bitter than sweet; and more endings than beginnings. One could see it as an exploration of ways marriages can end: through affairs, illness, and death. There is one marriage; and the main story is a blossoming relationship – but film denies us an answer about its outcome.

The movie is beautifully constructed. The story is simple, but there are multiple layers that add depth, and would reward watching the film again. The flow of time is uneven and intervals are sometimes confounding, which adds to the engrossing subtlety of the experience.

The dialog is spare, and exquisitely crafted. The cinematography is spell-binding: shots are held for a long time, and gave me a profound sense of place.

The acting is superb. Most of the story is conveyed through expressions, glances, and tones and voice. Irrfan (who has been called one of the finest actors in Indian cinema) is at his best, and Nimrat Kaur (perhaps better known to American audiences for her recurring role in the TV series Homeland) is a powerful presence. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is strong third pillar in the story. All three characters change and develop as the film progresses, but the shifts are subtle; one often only realizes belatedly that there has been a change.

Jul 16, 2020

The simple mix-up of a lunch box leads into a more and more complex relationship between the main characters. "When life sends you lemons, make lemonade", is the lesson of this dramatic movie.

Groszerita Dec 14, 2019

Lovely movie about a friendship and possible romance formed through a misplaced lunchbox.

ArapahoeJillA Nov 07, 2019

Lunchboxes get mixed up and a friendship grows. This Indian romantic film hits all the right notes and makes your mouth water at the same time.

Aug 10, 2019

Mumbai is filmed in all its gritty chaotic glory, subtle Bollywood tunes provide the lightest of dramatic touches, and lovingly prepared meals become as intimate as a caress, but it is the notes themselves which anchor the film—hastily scribbled ruminations on life, happiness, and mortality exchanged between two sad souls which wind up being as disarming as they are charming. And just to add a bit of contrast writer/director Ritesh Batra throws in a few secondary characters, namely Ila’s grieving mother full of regrets and Saajan’s pathologically upbeat apprentice whose not-entirely-honest approach to life embodies hope and resilience. The question of whether or not the two will ever meet in person is one which Batra dangles playfully in front of his audience, but in the end it doesn’t really matter for in the words of one character, “Sometimes the wrong train will take you to the right station”. In the case of "The Lunchbox" the journey is the only thing that matters and its first class all the way.

Apr 28, 2019

Comedy/drama life story with reflections on unfulfilled expectations - very subtle characters and joyful plot. Awesome actors and some scenes with documentary-like background.

Jan 30, 2019

I usually only review books, but then a really exceptional film like this one comes along, and I feel no one should pass this by. I did not want the film to end. It is clever, funny, warm and has not even a touch of all the usual pumped-up, empty Hollywood material. This is a portrait of humans, their relationships and communication. I wish current film-makers and film schools would take some time and watch this masterpiece.

Jan 19, 2019

A "slice of life" comedy/drama in which a comical situation leads to much soul-searching. Very subtle acting; mostly through expressions.

Oct 03, 2018

"The Lunchbox" proves that Bollywood is more than song and dance. It is a touching, storytelling kind of movie. I had hoped for an American-style ending–where the wife leaves the cheating lout and the new couple live happily ever after–while preparing myself for an Indian-style ending–where the obedient wife sacrifices her happiness to economic necessity. The writer/director found a third path, which is probably more realistic than either of my scenarios. The commentary disc helped me to understand the choices in scenery and dialogue and explained the unfamiliar cultural habits.

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Sep 26, 2014

Saajan: Dear Ila, your husband sounds like a busy man. Life is very busy these days. There are too many people, and everyone wants what the other has. Years ago, you could find a place to sit in the train every now and then, but these days, it's difficult. If Mr. Deshpande (Ila's invalid uncle upstairs) wakes up now, he will see the difference and probably go back to his Orient ceiling fan.

When my wife died, she got a horizontal burial plot. I tried to buy a burial plot for myself the other day, and what they offered me was a vertical one. I've spent my whole life standing in trains and buses, now I'll have to stand even when I'm dead.

Sep 26, 2014

Saajan: No one buys yesterday's lottery ticket, Ila. I came to the restaurant while you were waiting. There you were. Fidgeting with your purse. Drinking all that water. I wanted to come up to you and tell you all this in person, but I just watched you wait. You looked beautiful. You're young. You can dream. And for some time, you let me into your dreams.

Sep 26, 2014

Shaikh: My mother always used to say...Always says: "Sometimes the wrong train will get you to the right station."
Saajan: Your mother says? But you told me you were an orphan.
Shaikh: I am, sir, but when I say "my mother always says" people take it more seriously. And it feels good.


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Jul 16, 2020

This deceptively complex movie, in Hindi with English sub-titles, is like an onion in structure. We are introduced to the main characters whose life stories are gradually revealed layer by layer. A lunch box goes astray and an unexpected correspondence starts between strangers. As one character remarks "Life may send you on the wrong train to the right station."

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