Sometimes, people who are destined to be with each other, sadly actually never have the chance to be with together. This is the premise of the hit Indian film, the Lunch Box, starring Saajan Fernandes (Irrfan Khan) and Ila (Nimrat Kaur) whose paths never cross in the film though slowly fall in love with each other through the food that IIa ‘delivers’ to her ‘cheating’ husband though due to a mistake is delivered to Saajan, a mild-mannered and lonely widower who is fully devoted to his job.
The film cleverly merges the fascinating “Dabbawalas” system of food delivery in which millions of lunches are delivered straight from a persons home to their loved one at their office and then back again after the meal is completed. The system is incredible and has been featured in many different documentaries and even studied by Harvard.
The beauty of the film lies in the fact that, the two never actually meet, and simply fall in love via the wonderfully prepared meals that IIa creates and the eventual correspondence that the two have via the discreet letters which are sent back and forth in the both full and empty containers. It is the power of ‘food’ and the written word which draws them together despite being from a different social class and world.
The film is show beautifully and offers an insight into every day life amongst the urban sprawl and how, in a city of millions, two people who still somehow ‘find’ each other.
This is a simple and whole-hearted romantic film which harks back to the old style love stories in which the theme is just two strangers falling in love though destiny is not always meant to be.
Highly recommended especially if you want a plain old fashioned story with ‘real’ characters.