I saw the previews for the Indian subtitled film “The Lunch Box” a good 6-8 weeks ago when at Red Bank’s Clearview theatre.
It happens a lot, is especially in Red Bank, you see this killer good review and then it never shows up (The Showcase in Asbury does the best job with sneak previews by far). Anyway, I was immediately taken and drawn in by this remarkably simple story built from a mis-delivered lunch from an unhappy, beautiful young wife (Ila) to Saajan, a widowed, near-retirement government bookkeeper (instead of her distant husband).
So starts a daily series of hand written notes to each other in the lunch containers that leaves the audience hanging on every word and and phrase. So cordial, so polite, so decent are all the notes while the solace and peace and happiness the reading of each note by both actors in their own private corner of their lives yields a remarkably warm feeling.
You can’t help not to really like the core “goodness” of both characters and, though differing many years in age, compliment and deserve each other. You have simply have to see his goodness in his work training and friendship to the deficient and struggling new hire Shaikh
The glue among this all this the utterly fascinating, generations old methodology of this lunch delivery service that delivers meals from the homemaker to the worker via a combination of bike, train, foot and more.
The simplicity of the story, the significant patches of “quiet” on screen speaks to the loneliness of both in this very populated city.
Let me be the first to say, that the unwitting star of this film is “Auntie” who never appears on screen (we only hear her voice). Seriously, I would nominate her for best supporting actress. See the movie and you'll (hear) why.
I cannot express all the warmth this film generated. Special, Special special.