“The Lunchbox”- Worth a bite!

“Kabhi kabhi galat train bhi sahi jagah pahuncha deti hai”. A ritesh batra movie, staring Irfan khan creates an enduring impact on its viewers. This line might help to interpret the film’s open end but also nicely sums up its unique premise. The debutant writer-director Ritesh Batra managed to create a semblance, a magic through his this masterpiece. He also brings alive an era of love letters, probably something that people who are busy romancing through ‘SMSes’ or ‘whatsapp’ wont know about.

Ila (Nimrat Kaur) is a neglected housewife living in a typical cramped house of Mumbai with her daughter and a husband who is least bothered in their loveless marriage. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and so Ila, to spice up her dull marriage cooks an amazingly finger-licking good meal for her husband with the help of her neighbor aunty ( the very talented Bharti Achrekar, contributing only through her voice). But because of the unusual error of the very famous Mumbai dubbawalas, the tiffin landed up on the desk of an ever crotchety and sullen accountant Sajjan Fernandes (played brilliantly by the very versatile Irfan khan) who was on his verge of retirement. On realizing that her hard work was going into someone else’s stomach rather than her husband, Ila decides to enclose a note with her tiffin. Sajjan writes back on seeing the note and slowly unfolded a beautiful relation were the lone souls shared their dreams, their memories and their empty lives.
This alluring piece not only captured the beautiful essence of the age old love and compassion but also created an extraordinary portrait of Mumbai, ‘aamchi mumbai’ with the cramped local trains, the busy lives of the Mumbaikar (the scene where sheikh in the train compartment chop onions on the office file to finish of his daily work), the gloomy government office ambience, the middle-class apartments, the metro and always running crowd but two lost souls craving for love and companion.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui, like always did a distinguished job playing his character- Sheikh. His narratives and enduring role gave a fresh touch to the film. Nirmat Kaur did a magnificent  job as Ila, making the role entirely brilliant and captivating. But still Irfan Khan steals the show with his gait, eyes and that mysterious smile. His ease and confidence made Sajjan look substantive and certain. He surely added another star to his expanding galaxy.

The ending is left to the viewer’s introspection and this adds zeal to the film. This movie is being considered for an Oscar nomination this year and is surely worth those pennies jingling in your pocket!
P.S- don’t forget to treat yourself well before the movie or else you will be drooling all over seeing the mouth-watering food!

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