The Lunchbox

Netflix DVD – they rated it at 4.3 stars for me, and 3.8 for the general audience. Sandra and I watched this one together. Though it was set in Mumbai, India, and in Hindi with English subtitles, I was surprised that quite frequently, the characters spoke in English. I wonder if that is really how people speak there, or if this was done just for the movie?

The Lunchbox movie poster

This was a charming movie, centered around the apparently world-famous Indian lunchbox delivery system. I hadn’t heard of it before, but it seems that people at work have their lunches shipped hot to them just in time for their lunch break, using a large system of deliverymen. These deliverymen use bicycles, trains, and whatever means necessary to get the lunchboxes delivered, regardless of the weather. In the movie, a woman is cooking lunch for her husband, but the deliveryman takes it to the wrong person. The lunch is much better than he’s used to, and so he sends her a note in the empty tins … which starts an interesting exchange of notes that becomes less and less about food and more and more about their lives and desires. Many reviews on Netflix refer to a disappointing ending, but one reviewer said you have to pay attention at the end. I wound it back and looked for clues, and it’s true … [SPOILERS]

you can see that the man is headed on the train with the deliveryman that took her lunch to him every day – he’s trying to go to her, rather than leaving the city as she believed he was going to do. The catch is that she is leaving that afternoon for Bhutan with her daughter, escaping her cheating husband and a lonely marriage. We will never know if the man made it to her before she left or not. I think a lot of viewers may not have realized that he was with the lunch deliverymen in the train – they have a uniform that we aren’t familiar with and that isn’t distinct enough for us to immediately recognize. The only thing I would change about this movie’s ending would be to make it more obvious that he was with the specific deliveryman that brought him her lunch every day – rather than having them seated so far apart. I’m giving this one 4 stars for it’s charm.

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