Cannes Eats Up “The Lunchbox”

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The world got a taste of tiffin when the movie, “The Lunchbox,” written and directed by Ritesh Batra, bagged The Grand Rail D’Or at Critics Week in Cannes. The film left critics enchanted with this impeccably shot portrayal of lives irretrievably altered in an accident of fate manifested by Mumbai’s fabled Dabbawallas.

The Indian-French-German-US co-production showcases impressive performances by Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Nimrat Kaur. But it’s the story of a mistakenly delivered lunchbox and how it binds an aging accountant to a neglected housewife that really seduces.

The trailer and the stills of the movie unfurl a nostalgic old-worldliness that’s hard to resist. The sumptious Indian cooking, the four-tier stainless steel dabbas, the upstairs neighbor doling out advice (in Bharti Achrekar’s disembodied voice), all capture the charm in the ordinariness of everyday life in Mumbai. Irrfan Khan delivers a spellbinding portrait of a wistful, lonely man in a sarkari daftar who starts to live for the daily lunchbox deliveries and the little notes that arrive inside them. Sometimes entire existences unfold in such little things.

Following the film’s success at Cannes, Sony Pictures Classics has acquired its North American rights.

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