The Lunchbox

The Lunchbox

(PG) Madman DVD

This is one of those disarmingly charming films that has a subtle and deft touch and a bitter-sweet storyline to catch the heart with its poignant longing and humour.

Already a huge success in its native India, Ritesh Batra’s Mumbai-set romance arranges a tender relationship and then sets about to charm our socks off.

The simple story has lonely housewife Ila (Nimrat Kaur)deciding to try and add some spice in her life by preparing a special lunch for her unobservant and neglectful husband. Feeling taken for granted she decides to try and get him to take notice. Curious about her husband’s lack of response, Ila adds a note to the next days lunchbox.

Without realising her delivery had gone astray and landed on the desk of Saajan (Bollywood star Irrfan Khan) an irritable widower so begins an unusual friendship in which Saajan and Ila can talk about their joys and sorrows without ever meeting in person.

Before long, this pair will learn the value of crossed wires and missed connections and how (in the words of one colleague) “the wrong train can get you to the right station”.

It’s a simple and effective setup and The Lunchbox is perfectly handled and beautifully acted.

There are heartfelt and bittersweet scenes as Ila looks out from her kitchen window and Saajan catches the crowded commuter train with his work colleague, but the palpable connection between the two transcends their circumstances and is the perfect recipe for a Friday night in.

Adrian Drayton

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