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Movie Review - Lunchbox

If you watch a movie after a long laborious day you want it to be either dull enough to soothe your frayed nerves or intellectually stimulating enough to lift you out of your mundane life and thrust some questions on you that you escape the mundane for a while..I went to watch lunch box expecting the latter but was left a bit disappointed, perhaps it was too much to expect from an unknown director and too much naive on my part to believe that  all film festival movies are quality cinema.
The movie couldn’t really justify the efforts that I had put in to watch it…putting two spoilt kids to bed after spending a whole day with them, plus the rarity of the occasion of going to a theatre to watch a movie unlike the rest which you watch on your TV, recorded and sliced as per your convenience.
The movie is about how two lonely people connect over a chance exchange of letters when the lunch box gets delivered to the wrong guy.The idea is not trite, the movie could have been impactful had it been supported by a brilliant script. if a movie’s central theme is exchange of letters you expect the letters to be crisp, stimulating and insightful. The movie fails in creating that magic of words.
The movie works well in creating the characters but falters in developing a tight plot. The characters of Fernandes ( Irfan Khan) and Shaikh ( Nawazuddin Siddiqui) were well written and appear very real because of outstanding performances from Irfan and Nawazuddin; Nimrit Kaur also does full justice to her role, but what made the movie lacklustre was a weak plot; why will a wife walk out of her marriage and home without even once confronting her husband; why will she move to some unknown random place ( in this case Bhutan) when she has a 5 year old daughter,will she not worry about her safety, health, education etc; the escape to Bhutan would have looked logical if Ila ( Nimrit Kaur) was doing it alone, and why will a kid so young be so quiet and docile and not once disturb her mother..and lastly how can a housewife be this deep in loneliness when she has a 5 year old and a maid servant less house to look after.
The relationship between Ila and her mother also couldn’t create any impact, it was loosely written and even more loosely enacted by Lillette Dubey-one of the most misfit performances in recent times. Lillette can perhaps act well only when she plays herself i.e. a high society women with an affected manner of speech; as an ordinary middle class housewife her accent was totally unjustifiable. I however liked the exchanges between Ila and her neighbour(Aunty), they had an earthy realistic touch.
The climax in some places appeared too simplistic and banal-when it makes Fernandes first realize his old age after he sees Ila and then his youth when he sees a man older than him, and how the exchange of letters makes him a better, happy person; and at other places too bizzare- why would Ila walk out without any protest, especially when the move also involves her daughter.The loneliness couldn’t live up to the absurd.
I have heard that ‘Ship of Thesus’ is a good movie…I am an optimist who is also a cynic :) but for now I am rooting for it till the movie proves otherwise.


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