Returning from the International Critics’ Week at Cannes Film Festival 2013 is Ritesh Batra’s feature-length directorial debut ‘The Lunchbox’. It stars Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Nimrat Kaur in the lead roles.
On the surface, the story seems entirely simple. Nimrat Kaur is an unhappy housewife in Mumbai who sends a dabba (tiffin) full of lunch to her husband. The dabba, somehow, reaches Irrfan Khan who works in a clerical job. Through letters passed in the dabba, the two begin to fall in love with each other.
The trailer for ‘The Lunchbox’ starts by showing the two characters, who could be two random people in the city of Mumbai. We are shown the exchange of letters between Irrfan Khan (Saajan) and Nimrat Kaur (Ila). At first they just talk about the food, but food slowly changes to random musings and then to love.
Eventually, the two lovers decide to meet. But not before Nawazuddin Siddiqui, a colleague at Irrfan Khan’s workplace, almost reads one of the handwritten letters.
In some way, there is an old-world charm running throughout the trailer. It seems like a world where ovens or phones or computers don’t exist. Even Irrfan and Nawazuddin’s office has an old-world clock and files stacked on tables. It’s referenced in a line which Nawazuddin says in the film, “Aaj kal toh koi paper bhejta nahi hai. E-mail karte hai sab.” The music too is old-world with piano, bass, guitar and the mouth organ providing a soothing and charming feel throughout.
The trailer for ‘The Lunchbox’ builds up really well. You start off being intrigued and then smiling, and by the end we guarantee you that you’ll have a smile plastered all over your face.
‘The Lunchbox’, which won the Critics’ Week Viewers’ Choice Award at Cannes Film Festival, releases on 20 September, 2013.