The Lunchbox Blu-ray Review
The Lunchbox was a surprise indie success in the
United States box-office and it has already become one of the most
hits of the entire year worldwide. The effort is from first-time
filmmaker Ritesh Batra
and it stars acclaimed actors Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur. For those
looking for an entirely
rich and well woven tapestry in their film-going experiences, The
is a wonderful effort that provides a smart, moving, and creative
complemented by tremendous performances from the lead actors.
is an India production whiched was produced and filmed in Mumbai.
India is typically associated with Bollywood filmmaking more than
else, The Lunchbox (original title: Dabba) is hardly at
the films many associate with the country's filmmaking styles and is
one of the
more richly directed and acted efforts of the entire year worldwide.
is complex and smart throughout.
The central story focuses on a lonely housewife
(Nimrat Kaur) who is trying to win her husband's affection (as he pays
little notice at all) by cooking him a wonderful lunch. The typically
efficient Mumbai lunch delivery system somehow mistakenly switches the
meant for her husband with that of a total stranger -- a man unknown.
Saajan Fernandes (Irrfan Khan) is the recipient of
prepared lunch. Saajan receives Ila's
lunch and loves the food and savors every bite. He even goes to the
place where he receives his lunch order to comment on how good the food
that day. He is in the process of being replaced at his job by a new
employee and is being forced into retirement so the lunch is being
and is only to last him a few more weeks. What happens over those weeks
something that has a profound effect on his life. As Saajan learns from
later in the film, "a wrong train
is sometimes what is needed to get to a right destination".
Saajan is alone. His wife had passed away many
years ago and
when first introduced we see his loneliness (even as he has to eat his
all by himself). The lunch was a highlight for him in his otherwise
bleak day. When Ila's husband returns home that same day she realizes
not the one to eat her special lunch and that he did not even notice
had received a different person's lunch - even though he had a special
box that he should have been able to tell apart. Disappointed, Ila
the lunch with her auntie and decides to cook a special lunch again but
stranger who appreciated her efforts. She sends it off the next day.
a note by Saajan is included about the food. An exchange of notes
occur as she continues cooking for this stranger - and they begin to
about each other over their daily exchanges of notes through the
Ila prepares. Rather than e-mails or twitter or facebook, Ila and
discover one another and become friends over the daily lunches.
film has to ask: where will this newfound friendship lead these
The film is a dramatic effort focused primarily on
characters and their relationship to one another. The exploration is
textured and not flashy. The approach is both beautiful and mellow
allowing time for the audience to respond to and appreciate the growing
connection between Saajan and Ila. The performances by Kaur and Khan
impeccable. Everything seems so nuanced and delicate in their
the way Saajan eats, carefully placing each element of the lunch around
savoring every bite is a joy. Simplicity is sometimes best and The
is a perfect example as to why: it's the storytelling and performances
matter most here and they both shine triumphantly.
Ritesh Batra has crafted an ingenious screenplay
directed it with a degree of expertise more commonly expected from
filmmakers and not those who are making their feature filmmaking debut.
Although Batra has made a few successful short films prior to making The
Lunchbox, this film marks a gigantic leap forward and cements him
brilliant writer and director to watch going forward. From the
shots of Mumbai to the delicate and character-based directing style
room for performances to shine, Batra gives a ace effort here that is
applause and greater accolades. The Lunchbox is simple but so
that it is one of the most intriguing, ambitious, and creative films of
The 2.40: 1 original theatrical aspect ratio of
the film is
preserved on this 1080p MPEG-4 AVC High Definition Blu-ray
quality of the transfer is immense with good colors, detail, clarity,
depth. The cinematography is clean and efficient with a good modern
look which fits
the storyline. This gorgeous-looking film has received a high quality
and encode by Sony Pictures Classics.
The 5.1 Hindi DTS-HD Master Audio presentation is
one which has occasionally strong ambiance and immersion. When rain and
heard in the film, the surrounds are opened up with great precision.
bustling of the city-life is also well reproduced here. This is a
surround presentation that makes the film all the more enjoyable to
Dialogue and music are also clear, clean, and easy to enjoy and
Subtitles are provided in English, English SDH
(for the deaf
and hard of hearing), and French.
This release includes a commentary track with The
Lunchbox writer/director Ritesh Batra.
The Lunchbox is an intelligent
with wonderful performances from Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur. The
feature filmmaker, Ritesh Batra, is someone to watch as the future of
filmmaker is undoubtedly a bright one. As one of
the highest grossing Hindi films in US box-office history, The
audiences and became a success stateside. For those who have yet to
discover the film's tasty entree it's
a good time to dish in and enjoy the bountiful, creative feast this
provides. You may even find that you want to come back for seconds.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.