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The Lunchbox [Blu-ray + DVD] (2014)

Irrfan Khan  |  PG |  Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Irrfan Khan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Dolby, Widescreen
  • Language: Hindi
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 1, 2014
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,120 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

A mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects Ila, a neglected housewife, to Saajan (Irrfan Khan), a lonely man on the verge of retirement. Through a series of exchanged notes that they pass back and forth through the lunches, Saajan and Ila find comfort in their unexpected friendship. Gradually, their notes become little confessions about their loneliness, memories, regrets, fears, and even small joys. They each discover a new sense of self and find an anchor to hold on to in the big city of Mumbai that so often crushes hopes and dreams. Still strangers physically, Ila and Saajan become lost in their virtual relationship that could jeopardize both their realities.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and touching February 4, 2014
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.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Written and directed by Ritesh Batra, The Lunchbox (Hindi title "Dabba") is a wonderfully intimate film about two lonely people whose disparate lives are accidentally connected by the mis-delivery of a lunchbox. In the hands of a lesser director, it would've probably been merely a light romantic comedy. But in Batra's very talented hands, The Lunchbox is much, much more than that, bringing us deeply into the characters' lives and showing how sometimes it's the smallest things that can make the biggest difference.

Saajan Fernandes (marvelously played by Irrfan Khan) is a lonely accountant working in the claims department of a company in Mumbai. Middle-aged and approaching retirement, he exists more than he lives, having lost any feeling for anyone or anything since the death of his wife some years earlier. Ila (Nimrat Kaur in an equally marvelous performance) is a lonely young wife/mother who lives with her young daughter and emotionally distant husband in an apartment in Mumbai. Her only real human contact comes from her upstairs neighbor, an older woman, "Auntie" Deshpande (Bharati Achrekar), whom we never actually see but who carries on conversations with her through their open windows, chatting about their daily lives and giving advice about cooking. Wanting desperately to revive some sense of connection with her cold and indifferent husband, Ila tries to prepare special lunches for him, hoping as the old saying goes, to find a way to his heart through his stomach.

A chance of fate intervenes when Ila's specially prepared lunch mistakenly ends up being delivered to Saajan's office instead of her husband's. Although Saajan notices that something seems different about his lunch, he gives the matter little thought.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gentle Drama March 29, 2014
Brace yourself. This gentle PG-rated drama has no gunshots, no car chases, no sweaty bodies and no blowie uppie stuff. It does, however, have several people to root for and a very clever premise.

An unappreciated wife prepares her husband's lunch each day but he never acknowledges the effort and planning she puts into it. One day, through some sort of clerical error, the lunch is delivered to a widower who thinks it is from the contractor who usually furnishes his meals. He eats every bite and she is gratified to see that her food is appreciated. Her husband however, says he liked the cauliflower, which wasn't in the lunch she sent.

We smile with:
* Irrfan Kahn ("Life of Pi") is the widower, soon to be retired, but delighted with the food that comes daily from the wrong cook! He wants to be left alone, but has a deep fear of aging.
* Nimrat Kaur ("Peddlers") is the lovely but unappreciated wife, happy that her food is finally being enjoyed.
* Nawazuddin Siddiqui ("Liar's Dice") is the ebullient (and VERY handsome) young man hired to replace our hero when he retires. His mother says, "Sometimes the wrong train takes you to the right station."
* Nakul Vaid ("Stalker") is that unappreciative husband. He has many things on his plate, but his wife's cooking is not one of them!

Mumbai's byzantine lunch-box delivery system is famous for its efficiency. (You have to see it to believe it!) When our heroine tells the deliveryman her lunches are going to the wrong person, he tells her the system was studied by Harvard and they don't make mistakes.

The actors switch seamlessly between Hindi and English, so if you don't see any captions, they are probably speaking English. When the DVD is available on Amazon, I'll pre-order it. I want this one in my library.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 3 hours ago by Chandan
2.0 out of 5 stars ... was slow with constant background noise - however an excellent and...
The movie was slow with constant background noise - however an excellent and fascinating portrayal of Indian culture
Published 3 hours ago by Carrie Goldhill
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful
Published 4 hours ago by Dan G. Peterson
4.0 out of 5 stars and also very sad. I would recommend if for a moment where ...
This is definitely not your typical Bollywood romance. very sophisticated, very nuanced, very funny……..and also very sad. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Norma Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Sit back and relax.
New Favorite. It is slow and heart wrenching because of how real it is.
Published 4 days ago by alicia
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Needs a better ending
Published 4 days ago by Barbara A. Blommer
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful movie about a trivial delivery error that transformed the...
Delightful movie about a trivial delivery error that transformed the protagonists. The movie did not even get to the cinemas in this area.
Published 4 days ago by Jeremy R. Worthington M.D.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Surprisingly good film!! Excellent acting.
Published 4 days ago by Rick Weldon
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Story
This is an excellent movie--a warm, interesting story about two lonely people taking advantage of a rare mistake in order to step outside their small worlds and make a meaningful... Read more
Published 4 days ago by David
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful movie
Beautiful movie
Published 4 days ago by Neha A.
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