Director: Ritesh Batra
There’s nothing wrong with a charming little drama, especially when it stars the brilliant Irrfan Khan in the lead role. The Lunchbox is about Saajan (Khan), a widower on the verge of retirement who begins receiving a lunchbox delivery from the wrong place. The woman sending the lunches everyday, Ila (Nimrat Kaur), discovers that the deliveries meant for her own husband, are going to the wrong person and begins communicating with Saajan through letters she places inside the lunchbox.
It’s a cool little setup, and the film follows through by never resorting to melodrama. Saajan is a man who feels lost going into the latter years of his life, while Ila is lost in a loveless marriage. The two develop a relationship through letter that feels partly romantic, but largely based on the need for pure connection. They tell each other stories that they wouldn’t talk about with anyone else, and share a bond that feels more real than any other in their lives.
Both actors are great, especially the ever-reliable Khan, and writer-director Ritesh Batra constructs it all with a sense of calm and compassion for his characters. The Lunchbox is often funny, occasionally heartbreaking, and always endearing. (Corey Atad)
Sunday, September 8, Roy Thomson Hall, 2:00pm
Monday, September 9, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2, 9:30am