A feel-good film about loneliness in Mumbai, with Irrfan Khan in a riveting lead performance
Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox is a film about loneliness and emotional wiltedness. A widower, Saajan Fernandes (Irrfan Khan), lives alone in an aged, slightly dingy house in Bandra, Mumbai, and works at an insurance company as an accountant. He is standoffish and reclusive, almost misanthropic, bogged down by the weight of unexpressed feelings. He silently labours over reams of paper files, and eats his lunch, delivered by a dabbawala, alone at the office’s sparse canteen. Batra, also the screenplay writer, invests Saajan and his surroundings with the kind of existentialism that is all too familiar in a big city.