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Movie review: ‘The Lunchbox’ serves up touching, romantic drama
First Published Apr 03 2014 03:21 pm • Last Updated Apr 07 2014 01:43 pm

Food and fate play major roles in "The Lunchbox," a touching romantic drama that shines a light on a fascinating aspect of life in modern India.

In Mumbai, office workers get hot lunch, cooked either by their wives or a restaurant, in containers (called "dabbas") from a complex distribution web of deliverymen — the Dabbawallahs. Mistakes are said to be rare, but one happens when Ila (Nimrat Kaur), a lonely middle-class housewife, learns that her inattentive husband (Nakul Vaid) isn’t getting her homemade lunches.

At a glance


‘The Lunchbox’

Opens Friday, March 28, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; rated PG for thematic material and smoking; mostly in Hindi, with subtitles; 104 minutes.

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One day Ila leaves a note with the bread and gets a reply from the recipient of her cooking: Saajan (played by "Life of Pi" narrator Irrfan Khan), a widower approaching early retirement at his government desk job. A relationship develops through letters as Ila pours out her heart to this stranger in ways she could never do with anyone else. Meanwhile, Saajan befriends a trainee clerk (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who makes him think of his youth.

Writer-director Ritesh Batra makes a soulful feature debut, catching glimpses of the lively Mumbai streets while gingerly capturing the heartache of two lonely people finding an unexpected connection.

movies@sltrib.com; www.sltrib.com/entertainment

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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