Even as you sit in your place, “The Lunchbox” opens with a shot focusing the local trains of Mumbai. Set entirely in Mumbai, this is a film that tells us story of three people- their lives in Mumbai. Although the writer seems to be confused whether to cook up a film that plays like documentary of lives or a film that talks about various imaginative subjects- nostalgia, depression, expression etc. Packed roughly in 105 minutes, “The Lunchbox” is bit up of mishmash of the things its trying to tell, yet an endearing experience for too many reasons.
The film has a tortoise-moving pace and its important that all the three character’s every breathe is felt. Its only then the viewer can understand and capture the feelings. Given the kind of actors we have and a competent director at the helm of affairs, its an easy job to get hooked with what follows on-screen. The screenplay is terrific at times- the humor is immersed smartly in conversation and there are laughs and smiles to have here. Yes, the film has no agenda in what manner to culminate, which might suck some of the pleasure, still it manages to bring a smile when it ends.
The finale is left for us to guess and it ends abruptly. For me it was a smart move by the director rather than spoon-feeds which might have spoiled the fun. The writer deserves thumbs-up for creating straight-out-of-street characters. Be it the three leads or even the “aunty”, who plays only through voice and has no visual form, builds a lasting impact.
There was no shed of a doubt about the acting prowess of actors like Irrfan and Nawazuddin. They both have made their places in this industry. Hold your breathe, its Nawazuddin who remains the most innocently warm character. His character is uncouth, irritating and careless and Siddique owns the character. Irrfan Khan has a very subtle tone to his character. Note him in the scene where he freaks out on Nawazuddin. He is so real that you can’t help but feel his pains and joy. Nirmat Kaur surprisingly underplays her role with elan. She looks every bit a middle-class wife and she suits the role to perfection.
It would’ve aided the film to get more life in it had the director did not try to peek into too many topics simultaneously. At times, the films purpose does look lost and it brings uneasiness. Yet, nitpicking aside, “The Lunchbox” is a film to be given a chance. It has no social voice, no message for anyone. It talks about its characters and their life- and it succeeds. Had it been little more linearly narrated, it would’ve zoomed up. Go for it, it deserves a chance. If you are alright with slow-paced films, this one is for you. Don’t miss it.
Rating – 3/5
Tags: Irfan Khan Member Reviews Nakul Vaid Nawazuddin Siddiqui Nimrat Kaur Reviews The Lunchbox