The Lunchbox – Thoughtful and Touching Story from India

214LUnchBox_1.jpgThis beautiful new film from India explores the relationship between a young housewife and a newly widowed man. They are connected quite by mistake when Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox delivery system delivers the lunchbox to the wrong person. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer B comments, “For anyone who has lost a loved one, you can really identify with his (Mr. Saajan’s) emptiness.” See Keefer’s full review below.

The Lunchbox
Reviewed by Keefer C. Blakeslee
Full video review available here.

This movie creates a touching new twist on a story that might have come across as corny, but doesn’t. Mr. Saajan (Irrfan Khan), a retiring accountant, is grieving over the death of his wife and Lla (Nimrat Kaur), a young mother, desires more attention from her husband. Lla sends her husband a special lunchbox and, by accident, the lunchbox is delivered to Mr. Saajan instead. Realizing the meal was misdirected, Lla writes a letter, places it inside the next day’s lunchbox and what unfolds are sincere and beautiful messages that changes their lives.

The plot’s not unique, but the writers produce an atmosphere in this script that sets it apart. Shot in Mumbai City, India, we roam through the streets and are allowed to observe the people, their traditions, their homes and their work establishments. The dialog is in English much of the time but at times in Hindu with English subtitles, which immerses you further into the culture. Irrfan and Nimrat’s characters have their own stories that are spectacular to watch and, once these characters start writing to each other, we see a whole new side to both.

My favorite character is Mr. Saajan. Khan creates this man who reaches out to someone who he does not even know. His role is heartbreaking to see and you feel the emotions he is experiencing. For anyone who has lost a loved one, you can really identify with his emptiness.

My favorite scene is when Mr. Saajan is watching a show that his wife had taped. He remembers watching her and watching the show that made her laugh. You see his face change as he understands the joy she got from the comedy. We see how, a moment that brought joy in the past can still bring joy now, only in a different way.

The message in this story is, “Sometimes the wrong train can bring you to the right station.” Lla is unsure what to do when she realizes the lunchbox is going to a perfect stranger. Mr. Saajan is not sure what to do when the notes start to touch his heart. So they both feel they are on the wrong train.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this to age 11 to 18. There is use of cigarettes and subject matter that is not appropriate for younger audiences. Check it out to see what I’m talking about.

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