The Lunchbox

Saw this Indian movie yesterday with three previews attached, two for movies that had been released back on Valentine’s Day, liked it but was a little confused by the ending.  Then this morning I looked it up on Wikipedia, and thus understood and liked it even more.  I would recommend it wholeheartedly, but would suggest Western viewers google dabbawala first, just for a bit more knowledge.  Not that you need it; even if you don’t know about the famous lunch-delivery system of Mumbai(I’m pretty sure any shoehorned in explanation would’ve bored the Indian audience who know about it already, and that’s why it wasn’t there), the human story of two unlikely people connecting in a crowded but isolating world is one people from anywhere can identify with.

Indeed, one gets a very strong feeling from this movie about life in modern-day Mumbai, where if you get a seat on the train it’s probably because someone thinks you’re too old to stand, workplaces still dominated by men(though you see women at some of the desks) stare strangely at people who go to lunch a few minutes early and everyone is expected to speak English, but people often mix it with their native tongue, unhappy people fancy they’d be better off in Bhutan, and woe to anyone who doesn’t fit the familial mold the society still demands, though hey, at least they have a great lunch-delivery service(seriously, I’d love to have my lunch delivered like that every day)-but good luck convincing them they’ve made a mistake.  The portrayal of the lunch-delivering dabbawalas is almost documentary-like at times; in fact, director Ritesh Batra started out intending to make a documentary about them, and even after deciding to make a fictional movie instead, he filmed actual dabbawalas doing a day’s run to include in the movie.  If the food involved isn’t quite shown food-porn style, you still get a very good look at it.

Quite indignant to learn about it infamously not being submitted for Oscar foreign language film consideration.  Though maybe the old white western men of the Academy might have snubbed it anyway, so…

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One thought on “The Lunchbox

  1. Pingback: The Lunchbox at the movies; Solomon and Marion at Kennedy Center | Ellen And Jim Have A Blog, Two

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