I recently rented “Lunchbox”, a film written and directed by Ritesh Batra (co writer, Rutvik Oza). Batra is one of the most talented directors of recent and perhaps her female point of view is what added to this lovely script, with minimal dialogue, which gives the actors such an opportunity to… act. Set in India, the film captures the life style and culture of Mumbai and like no travelogue or video could ever bring to life this movie ultimately is a simple story of love, longing, and life. 5000 deliverymen work Mumbai’s amazing delivery service and according to what’s posted on the official movie site, Harvard University analyzed their system and concluded that “just one in a million lunchboxes is ever delivered to the wrong person”. This is what happens. Ila is played by the lovely Nimrat Kaur who prepares her neglectful and disloyal husband’s daily lunch and has it delivered by the service that mistakenly takes the meal to the wrong man. Saajan is a widow about to retire from his seemingly mundane life as a clerk in a sea of other clerks. Played by India’s popular actor, Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi, The Darjeeling Limited) he begins to look forward to Ila’s delicious daily lunches and the two start up an exchange of notes back and forth, as Ila knowingly continues to cook for this total stranger. What develops in both their independent lives, and together in a virtual relationship they build as friends who have never met in person, is an absolutely delightful and poignant story full of humor and directed with sensitivity in every scene. Ritesh Batra is a first time director and her film is one you should not miss. Available as a rental and on Netflix.
Steven Guttman, Esq.