The Lunchbox

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In the romantic drama The Lunchbox, middle-class housewife Ila (Nimrat Kaur) is trying once again to add some spice to her marriage, this time through her cooking. She desperately hopes that a new recipe will finally arouse some kind of reaction from her neglectful husband. She prepares a special lunchbox to be delivered to him at work, but, unbeknownst to her, it is mistakenly delivered to another office worker, Saajan (Irrfan Khan, Life of Pi), a lonely man on the verge of retirement. Curious about the lack of reaction from her husband, Ila puts a little note in the following day’s lunchbox, in the hopes of getting to the bottom of the mystery. This begins a series of lunchbox notes between Saajan and Ila, and the mere comfort of communicating with a stranger anonymously soon evolves into an unexpected friendship. Gradually, their notes become little confessions about their loneliness, memories, regrets, fears, and even small joys. In the big city of Mumbai that so often crushes hopes and dreams, Ila and Saajan become lost in a virtual relationship that could jeopardize both their realities. (Dir. by Ritesh Batra, 2013, India/France/Germany/USA, in Hindi and English with subtitles, 104 mins., Rated PG-13, Sony Pictures Classics) Digital