From the time it was screened at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, The Lunchbox had a dream run, becoming a global box-office success and a darling of critics across the world. The movie was feted at a host of festivals and received a BAFTA nomination in the best foreign film category in 2015.
Writer-director Ritesh Batra’s story revolved around Saajan (Irrfan Khan), a reclusive middle-aged office-goer, and Ila (Nimrat Kaur), a disenchanted housewife. One day, a meal-box prepared by Ila for her husband accidentally ends up with Saajan and the pair begin to exchange notes. Their communication, obligatory at first, blossoms into a tentative romance.
Saajan and Ila’s love story was rooted in the mundane realism of Mumbai’s frustrating chaos and isolation, for which the film was applauded. In its review, The Hollywood Reporter called the movie “a very Indian tale in its delicacy and humour – especially in the way it sweeps its characters up in a vast social grid that includes over-crowded trains and traffic jams, industrious workers and complicated marriages”.
The Lunchbox’s screenplay was written by Ritesh Batra, with Vasan Bala listed as a Hindi dialogue consultant.
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