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.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Sony Pictures Classic - 2013
Feature running time:
Hindi DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English Dolby Digital 5.1
English, English SDH, French
Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kauer, Nawazuddin Siddigui
Written & Directed by:
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
July 1, 2014
"Can you fall in love with someone you have never met?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
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.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
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.
- Audio commentary by writer/director Ritesh Batra
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
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.
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