Remember those days, back in school, when the bell for recess brought a curious smile on every one's face in the class? Few years later the smile still appears but during afternoon, when the meetings are adjourned for Lunch Break. If you're a foodie then you and I have the same reason for that curious smile- "Aaj tiffin/dabbe mein kya hai?". Lunch box has always been that box of mystery which unites people at workplaces and gives them a sense of joy in between the hectic work hours. This film has that exact same effect.
The Lunchbox is not a technical masterpiece but it's definitely one in the department of emotions and performances. The film is simple yet it has its charm thanks to a lucid script and convincing characters. It's very important for a film like this to have a heart and it's the director's job to put it in the right place. The director Ritesh Batra has succeeded in doing justice to this story in terms of direction and execution on the screen. Ritesh Batra's direction and story are tasteful and binds the audience through out the duration of this meal.
The dialogues are mostly monologues as both the protagonists read out letters written to each other but they are intriguing as one gets an insight in to these characters through these monologues. There are no songs in the film except for snippets of 'Saajan' and 'Pardesi' both of which have been used well.
Nimrat Kaur who plays Ila is the highlight of this film. Her expressions and demeanor are so perfectly in sync with the character of Ila that you can feel every emotion that she portrays on the screen. The Lunchbox belongs to Nimrat Kaur for the sheer talent she has showcased in her first release on the big screen.
Irrfan Khan too has delivered a sublime performance as Saajan Fernandes. We, as audience are already familiar with his acting capacity and capabilities, this time he has raised the bar (again). His simple styling and soft dialogues are backed by his splendid mannerisms which bind you to his character. With this outing he has further strengthened my belief that he is one of the best we have in this industry right now.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Sheikh is crackling and reminds you of his earlier stint this year in Bombay Talkies. The man emotes through his eyes and the way he manages to mould himself according to the character is praiseworthy. He provides the soothing comic relief throughout the length of the film without coming across as a sidekick or comic support.
A few words of praise here for Bharati Achrekar who has lent her voice for the character of Mrs. Deshpande. Her voice fills up for the absence of her visibility on the screen. One can almost picture her emote those lines which she delivers while talking to Ila.
By missing The Lunchbox you'll do grave injustice not only to the efforts of the team but to your cinema appetite as well. This one is a must watch.