Instagramming, snapchatting, tweeting, texting. Emailing, I guess. Phoning … still in the mix, right? The postal service, still working for you? How about lunchboxing? Lunchboxing. Huh?
Two people in the film “The Lunchbox” conduct their relationship entirely by lunchbox. Aside from any chemistry supplied by a woman providing a man with home cooked sustenance every working day, the nourishment centers around the notes they write each other, transported back and forth in the lunchbox.
The charm of the film percolates on the implausible premise that hundreds of thousands of workers in India have lunches delivered to them each day through an elaborate system of delivery people, bicycles, and mass transit. Actually, that part is routinely true in India. The implausible premise is that a lunchbox affair develops when this remarkably efficient system mistakenly delivers lunch, not to a neglected housewife’s husband, but to a lonely man whose wife has died.
OK, as movie premises go, it’s more endearingly rife with possibility than not. How much you like this film depends on your willingness to set aside Hollywood movie expectations and to drink in an unfamiliar culture. How much you like “The Lunchbox” depends on your willingness to allow yourself small smiles and nods from peculiarly ordinary human set ups.
The lunchbox lady carries on conversation with her Auntie by shouting upstairs/downstairs through an open window. The lunch box man releases facial expressions and body language that don’t seem to be directed much further than the narrow day to day he has come to live. A co-worker injects a kind of humble vitality into establishing his chance at becoming a cog in the bureaucratic machinery of life.
Will you fidget waiting for screwball plot twists? Will you hanker for more storied insight into the lunchbox lady’s and lunchbox man’s boxed-in lives? Intentionally, this film travels simple. Most people that allow this film’s simple charm will be glad they took this look at life.