Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Lunchbox

Today I saw The Lunchbox, starring Nimrat Kaur and Irrfan Khan.

Ila (Kaur) feels disconnected from her husband Rajeev (Nakul Vaid). She consults with her Auntie (Bharati Achrekar) who lives upstairs and primarily communicates with her by yelling through their open windows. Auntie encourages her to try new recipes and send a delicious meal to her husband through the lunchbox delivery service that everyone in town uses.

Ila does this, and the dishes come back empty, so she thinks she's pleased her man; unfortunately, the lunches got mixed up in transit and her meal instead went to Saajan (Khan), an lonely widower who works for the government. Even worse, her husband didn't realize his meal wasn't made by her.

Pleased nonetheless that the mystery man appreciated her cooking, Ila sends him a letter in the next delivery, assuming it will go back to him. It does, and he writes back.

So begins an innocent flirtation between two people at very different places in their lives who are desperately starved for attention and validation.

As their letters get more personal and honest, the connection they feel for one another only deepens, leading them to believe they may be destined to end up together.

Kaur is phenomenal as the stunning wife who feels ignored by her partner, and makes every attempt to win him back though it's through no fault of her own that she's lost him. Khan is his usual, appealing self and makes an otherwise unlikable character extremely sympathetic and warm.

Though the reasons for their correspondence border on depressing, it's delightful to watch these two strangers meet in the middle and discover comfort in old-fashioned letters.

A satisfying romance that keeps us guessing to the very end.


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