The lunchbox

8/02/2018 19:45.
Cert PG

Set in the bustling city of Mumbai this debut film from Ritesh Batra tells the parallel stories of soon to retire clerk Mr Saajan Fernandes and housewife Ila. Their stories collide when the daily lunchbox Ila prepares for her errant husband is delivered by mistake to Mr Fernandes. Since becoming a widower Fernandes’ life has become as bland as the lunches he usually receives from a mass produced outlet, so when Ila’s lunch arrives, the smells and flavours reignite his spirit. Through messages that the two begin to exchange, a friendship forms which helps both to seek happier lives than those they have drifted into. “And Mr. Batra makes their story touching and credible, an urban fable of hope in the face of disappointment.” A O Scott, The New York Times.

Dir: Ritesh Batra 104mins India/France 2013


  • A delight ….
  • Excellent film, so subtle and well made. Much food for thought – the pull of Eastern Promise and all that!
  • Wonderful! Heart warming and sad at the same time
  • A film of great charm and humour. So delicately portrayed and with much sympathy for all the characters
  • Much moving pathos and always gripping. Shaikh developed into a breath of fresh air. Portrayed much about life in Mumbai
  • A rare social insight into life in Mumbai
  • A wistful romance with a cliff-hanger ending. What a labour intensive lunch system!
  • A sad story – with possible alternative endings. Seemed a bit long in places
  • Whilst the premise sounded [sic] good on paper, the plodding pace made this a trifle too populist for its own good
  • Silly but had a certain charm. It wouldn’t have happened if they’d all remembered to take their lunches with
  • Too slow for me


A:12, B:7, C:5, D:0, E:0 to give 82% from 86% of those present.