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post #1 of 17 Old 06-22-2014, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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The Lunchbox (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



A delightful romance about a mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system that connects Ila, a neglected housewife, to Saajan, 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.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

87



Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures Classic - 2013
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 105 minutes
Genre: Drama/Romance

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): Hindi DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
Starring: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kauer, Nawazuddin Siddigui
Written & Directed by: Ritesh Batra
Music by: Max Richter
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 1, 2014


"Can you fall in love with someone you have never met?"


My Take:

Middle class housewife Ila is trying once again to add some spice to her marriage, this time through her cooking. She desperately hopes that this 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, 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. 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 a virtual relationship that could jeopardize both their realities.


The Lunchbox is a charming and narrowly uplifting romantic film set against the bustling Mumbai landscape yet set to a methodical pace that subtly draws you into the lives of its central characters via a derivative but effectively emotional plot that engages at every turn. Writer/first time director Ritesh Batra allows the audience an inside perspective which respectfully peers into the world of two lonely people who by happenstance find one another and innocently offer understanding/companionship. Eschewing complicated scenarios in favor of warm, tender (written) exchanges there is a wry wit and underlying adoration that pervades throughout.

The Lunchbox is a small film that appeals to our sense of hope, empathy and romance as we identify with and root for Saajan and Ila. There is a heartwarming honesty and bittersweet context that plays out right through to the end. I watched it with my family and our reaction to the ending was probably exactly what Ritesh Batra was shooting for. The performances by Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kauer are wonderfully involving while the artful direction and cinematography compliment the proceedings quite nicely.

The Lunchbox is tender and convincingly charming romance that asks little of the audience other than to spend a little time getting to know its subjects. After that you can’t help but get caught up in its delightful story.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic material and smoking.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA


Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:


The Lunchbox comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Classics featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.

This is a pleasing high definition video presentation that delivers quality which is on par with a newer release film coming to Blu-ray Disc. Colors appear natural with pleasing depth and an intentionally subdued palette. Complexions are realistically depicted with defining texture, and good tonal separation. Blacks are respectable but don’t offer the depth that make them stand out. Detail in low light and dark backgrounds is estimable. Images offer excellent dimensional depth, stable sharpness, and definitive clarity This rendering appears to faithfully represent the film’s elements which when all is said and done is quite good.

The audio presentation is solid and renders the elements present in the soundtrack with aplomb. Dialogue is clearly articulated through the center channel and the film’s music holds sway over the front soundstage with authority and crystal clarity. Aural perspective is primarily one dimensional and leans toward the front channels however spatial/venue replicating effects and diffuse ambience is fed to the rear channels which provides an effective sense of envelopment.

** CIH users should note that the subtitles appears within the picture area.

Bonus Features:
  • Audio commentary by writer/director Ritesh Batra
  • (HD) Theatrical trailer





Final Thoughts:

The Lunchbox is a tender and convincingly charming romance that comes from writer/director Ritesh Batra. It’s delightful story and likable characters make it pitch perfect entertainment for genre fans. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Classic Pictures featuring pleasing and faithful high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound quality and a filmmaker’s audio commentary. My entire family enjoyed The Lunchbox. It’s recommended viewing that deserves a place at the top of your rental queue.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS PC12-NSD
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 06-22-2014 at 10:09 AM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 06-22-2014, 09:36 AM
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Thanks Ralph, this is a region that we don't have a lot of films from, looking forward to picking this one up.
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-22-2014, 01:32 PM
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seen this one... absolutely loved it.
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post #4 of 17 Old 06-22-2014, 02:14 PM
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A very well made movie. It's quite rare to see good movies coming out of Indian Film Industry, better known as 'Bollywood'.
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post #5 of 17 Old 06-22-2014, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krips View Post
A very well made movie. It's quite rare to see good movies coming out of Indian Film Industry, better known as 'Bollywood'.
I think it is simply a function what is considered a "good movie". The general populace in India expects different things from a movie than western crowds. Being Indian and born and raised in America, I can see the reasons why Indian movies are the way that they are. It's difficult to appreciate Indian stories being an American without understanding the social context or all the "inside jokes" that might be presented.

The indian movies "made for the west" are not necessarily as popular in India.

It's similar to the way "Indie" films are not always very popular in America. Many Indie films are not even necessarily very good despite their "art cred".

I'm not sure if anything I have said makes any sense...
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post #6 of 17 Old 06-22-2014, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post
I think it is simply a function what is considered a "good movie". The general populace in India expects different things from a movie than western crowds. Being Indian and born and raised in America, I can see the reasons why Indian movies are the way that they are. It's difficult to appreciate Indian stories being an American without understanding the social context or all the "inside jokes" that might be presented.

The indian movies "made for the west" are not necessarily as popular in India.

It's similar to the way "Indie" films are not always very popular in America. Many Indie films are not even necessarily very good despite their "art cred".

I'm not sure if anything I have said makes any sense...
As a Desi raised in the US, I know exactly what you mean.
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post #7 of 17 Old 06-22-2014, 06:33 PM
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For anyone looking for a really good Indian movie, check out Mira Nair's wonderful Monsoon Wedding. Criterion released it on blu ray a few years ago.

She's also the director of The Namesake, Kama Sutra, Mississippi Masala and The Reluctant Fundamentalist. None of them are as good as Monsoon Wedding, IMO.
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post #8 of 17 Old 06-23-2014, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post
I think it is simply a function what is considered a "good movie". The general populace in India expects different things from a movie than western crowds. Being Indian and born and raised in America, I can see the reasons why Indian movies are the way that they are. It's difficult to appreciate Indian stories being an American without understanding the social context or all the "inside jokes" that might be presented.

The indian movies "made for the west" are not necessarily as popular in India.

It's similar to the way "Indie" films are not always very popular in America. Many Indie films are not even necessarily very good despite their "art cred".

I'm not sure if anything I have said makes any sense...
Btw, I'm a desi born in India and living in USA for a quite long time. I know we (Indians) are quite different and we do have a different sense of humor when it comes to watching movies. I'm the kind of person who likes Hrishikesh Mukherjee movies, which are quite simple and humorous (if you haven't watched it yet you should watch it) and at the same time likes Anurag Kashyap's movies which are at times quite intense. Now coming back to recent movies made in India, only few are worth watching and enjoying. I can list some of the movies that you'll love to watch if you haven't already. Some of the movies that comes to my mind at the moments are Hate Story, Gangs of Wasseypur (part I and II), Black Friday, B.A. Pass, Madras Cafe, Stanley ka dabba, Kahani, A Wednesday etc.
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post #9 of 17 Old 06-23-2014, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post
I think it is simply a function what is considered a "good movie". The general populace in India expects different things from a movie than western crowds. Being Indian and born and raised in America, I can see the reasons why Indian movies are the way that they are. It's difficult to appreciate Indian stories being an American without understanding the social context or all the "inside jokes" that might be presented.

The indian movies "made for the west" are not necessarily as popular in India.

It's similar to the way "Indie" films are not always very popular in America. Many Indie films are not even necessarily very good despite their "art cred".

I'm not sure if anything I have said makes any sense...
It makes perfect sense, unfamiliar cultural mores don't always translate very well, which can end up biasing an opinion or just confusing things altogether.

Looky here!
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post #10 of 17 Old 06-24-2014, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post
I think it is simply a function what is considered a "good movie". The general populace in India expects different things from a movie than western crowds. Being Indian and born and raised in America, I can see the reasons why Indian movies are the way that they are. It's difficult to appreciate Indian stories being an American without understanding the social context or all the "inside jokes" that might be presented.

The indian movies "made for the west" are not necessarily as popular in India.

It's similar to the way "Indie" films are not always very popular in America. Many Indie films are not even necessarily very good despite their "art cred".

I'm not sure if anything I have said makes any sense...
I understand what your saying.

"Bring out yer dead!".."Wait I'm not dead yet!"..(Sound Austrian here) "WRONG !!" (You know what happens next..)
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post #11 of 17 Old 06-24-2014, 02:37 AM
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Added to Netflix queue. Thanks Ralph
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-26-2014, 04:51 PM
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I heard about this movie from a friend and watched it on a flight last week. It was very good and Ralph's review is totally on spot. I also agree with Ralph that this would be a very nice rental.

Cal68
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post #13 of 17 Old 07-06-2014, 10:13 AM
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Spot on review Ralph. We watched this last night and I can't agree with you more. This film is a perfect example of "less is more", with a simplicity and efficiency the creates a truly touching story.
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post #14 of 17 Old 07-10-2014, 04:48 AM
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Wow, see this is why I love coming here to see what Ralph has on tap for us...I've never heard of this film, but based on the review this sounds amazing. This just moved into the #2 spot for this weekend (#1 is the Raid II).

Thanks Ralph!
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post #15 of 17 Old 07-10-2014, 05:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow, see this is why I love coming here to see what Ralph has on tap for us...I've never heard of this film, but based on the review this sounds amazing. This just moved into the #2 spot for this weekend (#1 is the Raid II).

Thanks Ralph!
Greetings,

My pleasure AJ. Thanks for your continued support and I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did..


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post #16 of 17 Old 07-14-2014, 06:44 AM
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What a beautiful film this was. I didn't want this one to end. One of the best films I've ever seen.


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post #17 of 17 Old 07-14-2014, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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What a beautiful film this was. I didn't want this one to end. One of the best films I've ever seen.
Greetings,

Awesome AJ.


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