89. The Lunchbox (2013) — Well, Irrfan Khan has cemented his place as one of my favourite actors ever, and not only in the Bollywood sphere. (You simply must check him out in Darjeeling Limited, by the way. And the movie itself is certainly worth your time!) Hats off to Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Nimrat Kaur too. Bravo and brava! It is exciting to think there are actors of such calibre to look out for.
This is a slow, arthousey movie compared to the likes of the usual Bollywood fare (that being said, there’s an Unseen Auntie who’s way more entertaining than any Item Boy/Girl), complete with an enigmatic ending, so you might feel a wee bit lost with the relative realism and the pensive pacing. I didn’t quite get the classic romantic comedy I’d hoped for, but what could I have hoped for, with a married woman and a retiring widower? But the time doth passes amiably, and oh, the characters, they do worm their way into your affections with how pluckily they manage their lives of quiet desperation.
Yes, how does one manage a life of quiet desperation? In two ways, according to The Lunchbox. First, through sheer good humour — I’ve never had a laugh gurgle up from so deep within; I practically had to force myself to stop laughing beyond *that* scene by the street between Saajan and Shaikh. No smug slapstick in this film, only vintage dry humour — I have discovered that I like drollness very much indeed. The second way of managing is through sheer good food, specifically home cooking — the scenes of preparing and savouring cannot fail to inspire, even if it were just to slap together something simple for someone you love.
And maybe a third way of managing would be to take the time to relish good movies with good friends — thank you, dear Sayesha, for dragging me out for this, and a Mad Maharani for reminding me about it.