Thursday, October 03, 2013

MovieNotes: The Lunchbox

Movie - The Lunchbox
*ing - Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddique
Director - Ritesh Batra
Language - Hindi with smattering of English
Genre - Daily Life

Basic Premise
A case of mistaken delivery by dabbawalas leading to an exchange of notes from the "dabba" maker to its unintended recipient. And how a curious friendship/bonding develops between the two characters who are getting to know each other through these notes.

  • The first thing you notice is the realistic way of capturing the everyday life of Mumbai. Travelling in trains, buses, occasionally taking the auto or taxi while trying to get everyday work finished up while travelling. 
  • The next thing which strikes is the almost complete lack of background music. There are background noises of course. And music is not completely absent. Songs do come in through different medium like radio or cassette players or children singing.
  • What makes the movie great? The brilliant starcast  (if you can them stars). And its not just the visible ones. There are invisible characters whom you don't see, just hear or the ones who are talked about but neither heard nor seen.
  • The story moves at its own pace over the course of a month, neither waiting nor jumping along. However there is gentle progression in the way the characters behave over the course of the story.
  • There are random life observations thrown in. Observations which can only come through experience but they are not the of the preachy kind. Just the ones which when you hear, you tend to nod your head along.
  • And finally the ending. What happened next? What did the characters do? All of it is left open. The story is not closed. Like life itself, there is no logical conclusion. Given that the movie depicts just a little passage of life, not coming to any logical conclusion was probably the best part.

Trivial Note - Since when did the famed Dabbawalas make a mistake? What happened to their 6 sigma acclaim? At least the mistake was not a one-off occurence but a recurring one,otherwise they couldn't have come up with a beautiful story.

Rating - 9/10

Closing Note - The hoopla of the film not being nominated as India's entry for next year's Oscars. Not having seen "The Good Road", I am in no position to comment on the merits and demerits of the case. But such controversies are either (a) needless distrations from the film, or (b) publicity gimmicks. And if its (b) then it is insulting to a truly well-made film.

Previously on MovieNotes - Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

P.S. - Some weird reason, I also got reminded of Stanley Ka Dabba while watching this film


Ecoliciously Organic said...

Saw the movie yesterday. Loved it

amar said...

my fav scene is when she tries to explain the mistake to the dabbawala and he takes offence and says "harward waale aaye ..dekh ke gaye.."