The Lunchbox – Film Review

Holding Irrfan Khan (recognisable from Life of Pi, The Amazing Spiderman and Slumdog Millionaire) in high regard, we sent Carol Bowditch to check out The Lunchbox:

A carefully prepared meal is passed though many hands in transportation, to be consumed by an adoring man, tasting the efforts of a woman that is trying to woo her fella. The premise of the film follows the box through the colourful streets of India, to-and-fro from ‘magic hands’ to salivating palette.

Irrfan Khan carries himself in a way which is really enjoyable to watch as he plays a character quite irritated with monotonous life in rural India. A widower, Saajan (Khan), exists to sort claims within a firm and go home to his empty house every evening to watch television. Due to a mix-up from the lunchbox couriers, Khan begins to taste lonely housewife Ila’s (Nimrat Kaur) lovingly prepared cooking of a lunchtime. When it is realised – due to her not getting the sensual appreciation she craves – that Ila’s husband is receiving the wrong food, she writes a letter to accompany the lunchbox addressing Saajan and his greedy gob. The pair continue to tell handwritten anecdotes, concealed in the lunchbox, about life and past loves, their day’s activities and also tips to modify the flavours of the food (to Ila’s dismay).

With an illusion of each other created through the words written, hidden under handmade naan, the pair ignite some sort of romance and fabricate ideal future plans together.

As a light-hearted rom-com, the picture did as it should. I laughed a few times, but often found the jokes unfunny or awkwardly placed. The romance was pretty flat also. I cared not if Ila stayed with her negligent, distant husband or took a chance with her pen-friend. I did however, love the cameo appearances from Saajan’s sidekick, Shaikh (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), the orphan that had built his entire life from nothing and had an illuminating spirit amongst little else.

The Lunchbox will be released in limited cinemas in Australia on July 10th. 



The Lunchbox review by Carol Bowditch