Screened as part of NZIFF 2014

The Lunchbox 2013


Directed by Ritesh Batra Big Nights

Classic movie romance beautifully transposed to the rhythms and flavours of modern-day Mumbai. Hearts are kindled when a lunchbox, designed to delight the cook’s husband, is accidentally delivered to a more appreciative stranger.

India In English and Hindi with English subtitles
105 minutes CinemaScope/DCP
PG (cert)

Director, Screenplay


Arun Rangachari
Anurag Kashyap
Guneet Monga


Michael Simmonds


John Lyons

Production designer

Shruti Gupte


Michael Kaczmarek


Max Richter


Irrfan Khan (Saajan)
Nimrat Kaur (Ila)
Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Shaikh)
Denzil Smith (Mr Shroff)
Bharati Achrekar (Mrs Deshpande)
Nakul Vaid (Ila’s husband)
Yashvi Puneet Nagar (Yashvi)
Lillette Dubey (Ila’s mother)


Cannes (Critics’ Week)
Karlovy Vary
London 2013


“It’s 84 Charing Cross Road with extra chutney in this enormously likeable Indian romantic comedy-drama. Irrfan Khan plays the grouchy, widowed claims adjuster who discovers that his lunch has been accidentally switched with a co-worker’s. Instead of notifying the delivery service, he tucks in and is transported to culinary heaven in the magical hands of isolated housewife Ila (Nimrat Kaur). It’s not long before this mismatched pair are exchanging furtive letters tucked into folded chapatis...

The sense of place – bustling, teeming modern Mumbai – is superbly realised, and there’s an air of wistfulness and melancholy which feels pleasingly out of step with many of the film’s Western forebears... Those who like their character comedy rich, sweet and just a little broad will find plentiful pleasures here.” — Tom Huddleston, Time Out

“Sometimes, according to one of the many nuggets of wisdom in The Lunchbox, the wrong train will get you to the right station. That’s an apt image for what happens in this wonderfully fresh and affecting fable from India... For the acting alone, The Lunchbox is a sumptuous treat. Ms Kaur, as Ila, is as nuanced as she is beautiful. She’s also deliciously funny as she cooks in her small kitchen while consulting her unseen auntie, who lives upstairs and uses a little basket on a string to lower crucial ingredients to Ila’s window... And through it all moves the marvelous Irrfan Khan. One of the finest actors of our time, and blessed with a voice that can turn any of the languages he speaks into music, Mr Khan is the film’s heart and soul.” — Joe Morgenstern, Wall St Journal


Proudly presented in association with The Breeze