Karan Johar, UTV Give ‘The Lunchbox’ A Fillip

‘The Lunchbox’, starring Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin SIddiqui, will be presented by Karan Johar and UTV in India, in association with NFDC and DAR Motion Pictures.
‘The Lunchbox’, starring Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin SIddiqui, will be presented by Karan Johar and UTV in India, in association with NFDC and DAR Motion Pictures.

MUMBAI: Karan Johar and UTV have stepped forward to present director Ritesh Batra’s ‘The Lunchbox’ in India, in association with NFDC and DAR Motion Pictures. The film stars Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. It is produced by Guneet Monga, Anurag Kashyap and Arun Rangachari.

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The film, which deals with an exchange of notes in a lunchbox between two anonymous entities in Mumbai which leads to a virtual romance, was screened at Cannes Film Festival in May. It received critical acclaim too, with Sony Classic Pictures taking up distribution for it in North American territories.

That’s not the only good thing happening to the film though. Yesterday, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) announced that ‘The Lunchbox’ was on its roster, and now Indian distribution has been sorted out.

Karan Johar said, “I absolutely loved the film. Irrfan and Nawazuddin are brilliant while Nimrat is waiting to exhale. I haven’t enjoyed a love story like this in a long time.” This goes with his various tweets when he watched the film a month ago.

Looks like Karan Johar has taken it upon himself to see that it really does travel. Meanwhile, Siddharth Roy Kapur, MD, Studios, Disney UTV, says “‘The Lunchbox’ is that rare gem of a movie that will appeal to just about everyone. We are planning an Indian theatrical release on September 20.”

With ‘Ship Of Theseus’ getting a celebrity presenter in Kiran Rao recently, could ‘The Lunchbox’ getting hold of Karan Johar be a result of that? BusinessOfCinema contacted Vivek Rangachari, Director, Commisioning Producer, DAR Motion Pictures to provide more clarity on this issue. “The association with Karan Johar happened much before ‘Ship Of Theseus’,” Vivek Rangachari says. “He was present at Cannes with ‘Bombay Talkies’ when ‘The Lunchbox’ broke out and received good word. So he wanted to watch it since then. After he did watch it, there was this organic feeling within him and he wanted to be a part of the project. That’s when he decided to come on board.”

He also adds, “We are proud that Dharma and UTV have come aboard this lovely film. It’s a great moment for us and we cherish it.”

With ‘The Lunchbox’ looking at a 20 September release, it will clash with director Rajkumar Santoshi’s ‘Phata Poster Nikhla Hero’ starring Shahid Kapoor and Ileana D’cruz. Let’s hope both films can stand on their own.