The Lunchbox (2013) Poster

The Lunchbox (2013)

  • Rate: 8.0/10 total 6,544 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 28 February 2014 (USA)
  • Runtime: 104 min
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The Lunchbox (2013)


The Lunchbox 2013tt2350496.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Lunchbox (2013)
  • Rate: 8.0/10 total 6,544 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 28 February 2014 (USA)
  • Runtime: 104 min
  • Filming Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Budget: $1,000,000 (estimated)
  • Gross: $44,542 (USA) (28 February 2014)
  • Director: Ritesh Batra
  • Stars: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddiqui | See full cast and crew »
  • Original Music By: Max Richter   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Lunchbox | Delivery | Widower | Note | Lunch

Writing Credits By:

  • Ritesh Batra (screenplay)
  • Rutvik Oza 

Known Trivia

    Plot: A mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects a young housewife to an older man in the dusk of his life as they build a fantasy world together through notes in the lunchbox. Full summary »  »

    Story: The film, set in Mumbai, revolves around a mistaken delivery by the Dabbawalas (lunchbox service) of Mumbai, which leads to a relationship between Saajan, a lonely widower close to retirement, and Ila, an unhappy housewife, as they start exchanging notes through the daily lunchbox. Written byIceman


    Synopsis: The Lunchbox, a man who’s been grieving since his wife died, a woman who wants to seek her husbands attention to rekindle their love and the only way she’ll do it is cooking .This woman wants to cook her way through her husbands heart and she would’ve succeeded only if the very famous ‘dabbawalas’ of Mumbai city would not have messed up her plan by delivering the hard cooked and awesomely delicious food to Mr. Fernandez. Realizing the mistake of the delivery she writes Fernandez a note about it and the in a series of fortunate and unfortunate notes the movie turns out to be beautiful.

    only thing I’ll be adding is that if you are a typical Bollywood buff you’d be surprised what Indian Cinema is capable of.


    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Shahnaab Alam known as co-producer
    • Marc Baschet known as co-producer
    • Ritesh Batra known as executive producer
    • Lydia Dean Pilcher known as executive producer
    • Benny Drechsel known as co-producer
    • Nina Lath Gupta known as co-producer
    • Smriti Jain known as line producer
    • Sunil John known as co-producer
    • Siddharth Roy Kapur known as co-producer
    • Anurag Kashyap known as producer
    • Nittin Keni known as co-producer
    • Irrfan Khan known as executive producer
    • Cédomir Kolar known as co-producer
    • John F. Lyons known as associate producer
    • Guneet Monga known as producer
    • Sahab Narain known as associate producer
    • Arun Rangachari known as producer
    • Vivek Rangachari known as co-producer
    • Vikramjit Roy known as executive producer
    • Shivani Saran known as supervising producer
    • Meraj Shaikh known as line producer
    • Karsten Stöter known as co-producer
    • Danis Tanovic known as co-producer
    • Shaan Vyas known as associate producer: AKFPL

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Irrfan Khan known as Saajan Fernandes
    • Nimrat Kaur known as Ila
    • Nawazuddin Siddiqui known as Shaikh
    • Lillete Dubey known as Ila's Mother
    • Nakul Vaid known as Rajeev
    • Bharati Achrekar known as Auntie
    • Yashvi Puneet Nagar known as Yashvi
    • Denzil Smith known as Mr. Shroff
    • Shruti Bapna known as Mehrunnisa
    • Nasir Khan known as Ila's Father
    • Lokesh Raj known as Duke's Owner
    • Sadashiv Kondaji Pokarkar known as Dabbawallah at Ila's House
    • Aarti Rathod known as Saajan's Neighbor
    • Krishna Bai known as Toothless Woman
    • Raj Rishi More known as Ila's Brother
    • Santosh Kumar Chaurasiya known as Autorickshaw Driver
    • Swapnil Shirirao known as Duke's Waiter
    • Avijit Khanwilkar known as Young Man in Train
    • Aakash Sinha known as Autorickshaw 2
    • Xavier Hodges known as Very Old Couple
    • Rosemary Hodges known as Very Old Couple
    • Hubart Vossoaker known as Neighbor's Family
    • Rosemary Vossoaker known as Neighbor's Family
    • Flory Vossoaker known as Neighbor's Family
    • Sebastian Vossoaker known as Neighbor's Family
    • Quitira Vossoaker known as Neighbor's Family
    • Baaburao Sankpal known as Dabbawallah at Saajan's Office
    • Chandrakantha Rajani known as Saajan's Office Staff 1
    • Kancha Karki known as Saajan's Office Staff
    • Rajendra Dubey known as Saajan's Office Staff
    • Narendra Arora known as Saajan's Office Staff
    • Ashwin Desai known as Saajan's Office Staff
    • Mahesh Mahadev Salavkar known as Office Peon
    • Krishna Mandal known as Office Peon
    • Calvin Desilva known as Cricket Kid
    • Craig Narona known as Cricket Kid
    • Kyeron Kandoria known as Cricket Kid
    • Shubh Jadav known as Cricket Kid
    • Akash Sinha known as Himself (uncredited)



    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Serena Tixeira known as makeup designer




    Production Companies:

    • Sikhya Entertainment
    • DAR Motion Pictures
    • National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) (co-production)
    • Asap Films (co-production)
    • Rohfilm (co-production)
    • Cine Mosaic (co-production)
    • Aide au cinéma indépendant – Canada (ACIC) (with participation of)
    • Centre National du Cinéma et de L'image Animée (CNC) (with participation of)
    • Dharma Productions
    • Institut François Mitterand (with participation of)
    • Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (supported by)
    • Ministère des Affaires Étrangères (with participation of)
    • UTV Motion Pictures
    • arte France Cinéma

    Other Companies:

    • Bridge, The  post-production facilities
    • Light n Light  grip and lighting equipment
    • Promoshop  promos
    • Xtrathin Design  publicity design


    • CDI Films (2014) (Argentina) (theatrical)
    • Cinemien (2013) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
    • Cirko Film (2013) (Hungary) (theatrical)
    • Edko Films (2014) (Hong Kong) (theatrical)
    • Happiness Distribution (2013) (France) (theatrical)
    • NFP Marketing & Distribution (2013) (Germany) (theatrical)
    • Sony Pictures Classics (2013) (USA) (theatrical)
    • UTV Motion Pictures (2013) (India) (theatrical)
    • Alambique Destilaria de Ideias Unipessoal (2014) (Portugal) (all media)
    • Lighthouse Pictures (2013) (Singapore) (all media)
    • Madman Entertainment (2014) (Australia) (all media)
    • Vértigo Films (2014) (Spain) (all media)



    Other Stuff

    Visual Effects by:
    • Abhishek Goel known as senior di producer: Filmlab
    • Aziz Merchant known as compositor
    • Prasad Patel known as senior compositor
    • Manoj Sakesh known as visual effects artist

    MPAA: Rated PG for thematic material and smoking



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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    Posted on March 4, 2014 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , .


    1. Aruni Sengupta from Kolkata, India
      04 Mar 2014, 6:00 am

      Once Rabindranath Tagore says about 'short stories'…

      "Simple events of life happy or sad,/ Some sad strings from the trainof forgetfulness,/ Not fraught with heavy descriptions,/ Not crowdedwith events,/ No advice, no philosophy/ Only the feeling that the storyis not yet over/ Although there is no more to read…"

      'The Lunchbox' is a perfect example of a unique 'short story'. A littlelove story with some little events and pain… but at the end there isa new beginning.

      The story is about a lonely old widower and a young neglected housewife. They connected through a lunch box and some letters, and sharesome emotional thought and experience of there daily life with eachother. They are totally stranger to each other, but love has found outit's own way to enter.

      There is a basic question about "Love"… 'Is it possible to fall inlove between two strangers'? "The Lunchbox" defines it brilliantly…'Love has no definition and it never follows any rules. So there is apossibility to fall in love with somebody whom we never meet. Peopleloves to fall in 'Love' again and again, it may be someone we know ordon't know or whom we already loved with'.

      Irfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui are acted very wellthrough out the movie. Direction of Ritesh Batra is just too muchperfect. After interval, the movie is a little bit slow, may be it's asituational demand. Overall it's an wonderful experience.

      Lastly, the best part of the movie is 'The Ending'. "Only the feelingthat the story is not yet over, although there is no more to read".There is something unspoken in this movie. It depends viewers toviewers, where they actually like to go with "Sajan & Ila".

      Strongly recommend to all cine goers… please watch it…

    2. ahirjoy from Kolkata, India
      04 Mar 2014, 6:00 am

      The Lunchbox(Movie -2013) Review – The movie "The Last Samurai" endedwith a quote something like "We all seek some small measure of peace,and few of us ever find". After many years "The Lunchbox", a movie froma completely different background and culture echoed the same thoughtto my ears, really it is never too late to start your life again. Youcan expect the movie will be a gem as you have the two bestcharacter-artists of this decade – Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiquiplaying the lead roles. However I didn't expect Nimrat Kaur will alsogive such an awesome performance as I never followed her before except"Cadbuy Dairy Milk-Silk adds", and I apologize for my ignorancesincerely! Nimrat was equally great. This movie can be an excellentdemonstration of what extraordinary performance really means in anyacting-learning institute of any part of the world, trust me on this!!!

      The start of the story – A frustrated housewife prepares an excellentlunch for her husband with great care. But unfortunately (orfortunately!), it reaches to an equally lonely person on the verge ofretirement – Saajan Fernandes (Irrfan Khan) whose wife died long back.This simple cross connection by Mumbai Dubbawalas in the age of digitalera starts a beautiful and interesting romantic relationship howeverending of which has been kept open-ended for our own imagination. Atthe same time we can see an excellent equation and emotional turmoilbuilding up between Saajan /Irrfann, the serious and lonely partingboss and Shaikh/Nawazuddin, his future replacement, who is funny andenthusiastic and quiet opposite to his boss.In some cases Nawazuddinhas overshadowed Irfann too! The direction was superb, specially thedepiction of the supply chain of the Mumbai Dabbawalas through the cityis just extraordinary.Hats-off Ritesh Batra for his unbelievable firsttime direction.

      Disclaimer: This movie is 4.5/5 from me, 0.5 is deducted only for itslittle slow pace , otherwise it in an extraordinary story about veryordinary lives. To me, this movie deserves all the criticalappreciations it has received both in India and Outside. Avoid only ifyou really hate slow paced realistic depiction about everyday commonlives of Tom,Dick and Harry and expect only superheroes doingsuperhuman activities; otherwise this is a "MUST WATCH"!

    3. sourish-halder from Bangalore, India
      04 Mar 2014, 6:00 am

      Imagine a intimate multi course meal… The premise of the tasteprovided by a subtle soup… The appetite increases with a deliciousappetizer … The bitter sweetness of a Karela Ki Sabji … Thesoftness and comfort of Paneer Kofta… The whiff of romance like afragrant Mutton Biriyani … The subtlety yet spiciness of a Keema Pav… The wholeness and simplicity of Daal Chawal … The added tang of apickle … The sweetness of a Rabdi and the twist of a Paan …

      The flavor of The Lunchbox lingers on your taste buds long after theending credits roll … making you long for a second helping andanother helping and another … The performances , the beautiful yetsimple story of a love that begins with a small humanly mistake ofprobably the most efficient set of people in India and not to forgetthe brilliant ending which basically forces the viewer to make his/herassumption make The Lunchbox an excellent meal. A meal which is madeand served with love that not only lingers in your taste buds but inyour mind for days to come.

      Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddqui in the film are like the wonderfulsouth Indian breakfast combination of Idli-Vada … you cannot imaginethis combination without any one of the components. A beautiful andhaunting turn by Nimrat Kaur. Its as if every meal she cooks or everydish she prepares… its her life in the dishes. Credit goes to RiteshBatra for having a masterstroke in the form of the ever helping Aunty… you got to watch the movie to find it out.

      For once chuck the spicy fare or the continental gourmet creations …go for this homemade meal … Bhindi and Paneer Kofta never tasted thisgood.

    4. visheshvijay from India
      04 Mar 2014, 6:00 am

      In an age when instant messaging, email, and various social media havemade communication easier and quicker, debutant writer-director RiteshBatra relies on scribbled notes tucked in tiffin boxes to deliver acharming, old-fashioned love story in The Lunchbox. There's a simpleline in this sumptuous film that captures its essence beautifully:"Sometimes even the wrong train can take you to the right destination."It's a line that might help interpret the film's open ending, but onethat also nicely sums up its unique premise.

      I'm going with ten ratings for The Lunchbox. The greatest love storiesare the ones that make you root for the protagonists to come together,despite their destinies. This film illustrates how love transforms theunlikeliest of people; it breaks down Saajan's walls and gives Ila thecourage to fly. Treat yourself to The Lunchbox – it'll leave you with acraving to seek your own little happiness. Best film I've seen in along time. Acting of Irfan 10/10 Film Rating – 10/10

      I believe that this time LunchBox will surely make history in Oscars .

    5. ( from Bangalore, India
      04 Mar 2014, 6:00 am

      "The Lunchbox" is the most honest love story to come out of Bollywoodin ages. It is a delightful story of love blossoming slowly, one lettera day, between two most unlikely but equally despondent characters youcould ever match make.

      Debutant Director, Ritesh Batra, who is also done the script writing,has crafted an exquisite gem of a movie. Batra impresses because hedoes not set out to impress. He conveys eloquently the state of themind of each character because he is economical with emotions and doesnot exaggerate. Batra makes a memorable movie with multiple layersbecause he is honest with himself and his craft. Ritesh Batra is simplymagnificent.

      The performances by the 3 leading actors, Irrfan Khan, NawazuddinSiddiqui and Nimrat Kaur are disarmingly natural, poignant andmemorable. Pitted against the two stalwarts (comparatively speaking),Khan and Siddiqui, newcomer Nimrat Kaur more than holds her own. I amat a loss of words to describe her performance. Her character isnuanced, neglected, grieving and most complex yet Kaur's is the mostmemorable performance in the movie. Her role would be talked about fora long time to come.

      While ironically, the whole serendipity bit of the film kicks off witha delivery mistake made by Bombay's Dabbawalas, world famous for theirSix Sigma (99.999666% ) accuracy, Batra's movie reassures that even ifthe odds of finding true love in life is Six Sigma stacked against you,it is worth waiting for and taking your chances.

      "The Lunchbox" is the most sumptuous and appetizing fare Bollywood hasoffered in ages. Just go for it

    6. sonalijagwani from New Delhi
      04 Mar 2014, 6:00 am

      Must watch with a full stomach, else you'll have a watering mouth everyfive minutes while watching the plot. India is a country where we giveutmost importance to food & family. This story, packed in a Lunchbox,comes to your table & gives you a flavor of Indian ethnicity & theemotions we go through in everyday life !

      The overcrowded local trains, Harvard certified Mumbai Dabbawalas,Amidst busy working hours, an irritating yet likable junior And thebest friend "Aunty" to a direction less housewife

      All this should be enough to drag you to the cinema house & enjoy thespicy curry in the LUNCHBOX.

    7. bionmba from Nottingham, England
      04 Mar 2014, 6:00 am

      To be able to write an involving story on something consideredimpossible is the hallmark of a good writer. 'The Lunchbox' is based onsuch a story surrounding the dabbawalas of Mumbai.

      One mistake that brews a terrific relationship between two strangers,so delicately portrayed through the exchange of letters. There are onlythree actors in this film and each has delivered a stellar performance.None of them have many dialogues, but their expressions and motionsdepict their character in such an excellent manner, you wished therewere even fewer lines! Irrfan proves with every new film that he infact is the best 'Khan' of Bollywood and Nawazuddin can just notdisappoint. He's used his GoW success to break into films such as thisone and done justice to each role. Nimrat Kaur's simplicity throughoutthe film looks so effortless and yet so unbelievable for the Bollywoodof today, which is ever so increasingly synonymous of excessive glamourand fashion.

      Cinematography is average, but again, this isn't a 'visual' movie, it'smore of a story. Direction looks great as Ritesh has been able to getthe best out of his cast. Well, you'd have to try real hard to haveIrrfan and Nawaz amidst your cast and yet churn a flop, but thedirector does deserve some credit.

      In my opinion, this is the second best film of the year after MadrasCafe. I haven't seen Bhaag Milkha Bhaag though, so that might changethings for me. Either way, this is in no way a bore or a drag as thefilm keeps you hooked onto the amazing story line and individualperformances.


    8. Karun Kumar from India
      04 Mar 2014, 6:00 am

      THE LUNCHBOX- A poignant and heart warming tale that seems like a whiffof fresh air amidst all the hullabaloo the audiences have been exposedto in recent memory. It has depicted the pathos of 2 principalcharacters with panache n each n every single frame of the film seemsto have been meticulously dealt with. One dialogue still lingers inyour mind long after the film has finished "Sometimes the wrong traintakes u to the right destination". It's so so good to see good ol'letters being exchanged in an era of e-mail, Facebook, Twitter,Whatsapp n mobile phones. Somewhere it touches the very core n essenceof that golden era which I had never been born in but now surely havethe experience to cherish it via such gems which come once in a long,long while. The best part is that all melodrama has been avoided exceptfor the cameo by Lilette Dubey. All the emotions have been expressed ina very subtle manner in contrast to over-the-top melodrama which hasbeen the staple diet of Bollywood films n how they play with ouremotions by being tearjerkers. This film pricks your conscience ncompels u to think. It makes u root for the protagonists even as theymarch onto their respective destinies. It makes u realize there's asilver lining of hope that really makes u fly. I really wish if itcould be India's official entry to the Oscars for 2013.

    9. Dhruv Naik from India
      04 Mar 2014, 6:00 am

      You will enjoy this lunch box.Irrfan Khan excellent totallyfabulous.Nawazuddin Siddiqui was too good and appreciable.Nimrat Kaurhas done good job.There are so many moments that you will enjoy andwill remember after the end.There are so many comedy sequences whichwill make you laugh at high point.Movie's flow is very nice.Mostly thistype of movie getting bored after some point but this lunch box youwill enjoy.Best part of the movie is there is not a song which makesmovie's flow fluent.You will enjoy the whole movie but it willdisappoint you on its climax.Climax is just unexpected.You will startimaging the end and what is next going to happen and than you will seethe end.Writer has written this story so smartly but he failed inclimax.For the commercial and simple cinema watching people this lunchbox is for you only others won't like this that much.Overall you willenjoy this lunch box but last piece will disappoint you !!

    10. Tushar Kaul from India
      04 Mar 2014, 6:00 am

      When you go into a movie, one of whose somewhat reliable review claimedit to be the best movie to have come out of India in the last 10 years,you are bound to have certain expectations and in retrospect a mindready for a brutal disappointment at the end and yet there comes a timewhen something does not just live up to the expectations, but farexceeds them in almost every way. Lunchbox works at so many levels thatit might get unpleasant at times for a casual viewer due to theroller-coaster screenplay where a seemingly comical exchange ofdialogues suddenly takes a drop-dead serious turn and you have stillnot stopped laughing. But all throughout the movie everything appearingcomical is in a way dark humor surrounding the landscape of the plot.

      The movie explores loneliness in a way radically different from what weare used to in Indian cinema. I was so much reminded of Wong Kar Wai'sIn Mood for Love throughout the movie. Although the movie doesn't workon the same plot, but the essence has a lot in common. A lonely retireewho has reached the brink of his active adult life with no one to counton in his fading days and a young housewife caught in the bustle offast life in the 21st century where an early child seems to havecreated a huge void in the household. The movie sets off with a verygloomy undertone in the rain drenched by-lanes of Mumbai. Ritesh Batrabrings out the melancholy and solitude in the life of these two peoplethrough the Mumbai dabbawalla network and it's so natural and sosimplistic that it works out very well.

      He has not built the movie into a conventional love story, but like Isaid, it reminded me so much of 'In the Mood for Love'. And thescreenplay and narrative leaves a lot at the viewer's prerogative. Therelationship between Irfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur is somewhat like whatBill Murray and Scarlet Johansson had in 'Lost in Translation'. Thereare so many open ended threads in the story and there is no attemptmade at justifying or unnecessarily elaborating them. It redifines lovein a way we don't see in Hindi cinema usually and then lets the viewerstake their own pick how they want to leave with the story.The editingis very crisp and very tight. Honestly, the movie as a whole was a hugesurprise and the experience just gets better.

      The performances makeup and locations are perfectly suited for thestory. The movie brings out Mumbai on the screen in a way thatperfectly suits it. Apparently heirless Irfan Khan's huge lonely housein high bustle of Bandra, or the young couple's small budget flat wherealthough you can shout out and talk to the neighbour above, yet strangeloneliness thrives and drives a housewife to discuss her familyproblems with a complete stranger though lunch boxes. The longing forgood old past on part of both loners is very well showcased. The movieworks very well. Performance wise Irfan Khan is brilliant like always.An exceptional follow-up to Pan Singh Tomar. He plays out a 60 year oldso well, that Naseeruddin Shan might've already called up his agent todrop a couple hundred thousands off his asking price. Nimrat Kaur doesfull justice to her role as the lonely housewife. Nawazzundin Sidiquiplays out a role different from what we have now got used to off late.But it's the story and the way that it has been executed that makes itall the more brilliant.

      It's good to know that there are people like Ritesh Batra who are doingsome remarkable work in the otherwise mediocre Hindi cinema of today.What was even more surprising was to find Karan Johar as one of theproducers. This one act of his has suddenly improved his stature in mybooks. It was disappointing to know that this movie was turned down infavor of 'The Good Road' as official Indian entry for Oscars.Definitely a stupid decision, as I do not see any reason why Lunchboxwouldn't have gone one to win the award.

      A must watch for anyone who has given up on Hindi cinema.

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