Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Lunchbox

(India, 2013)

A sweet little movie. In Mumbai, there is a cadre of men known as dabbawallas. Every workday, they circulate through the suburbs collecting home-cooked lunches and then taking the train into the city, where they distribute them to workers. The service must be incredibly cheap, to compete with the numerous food stalls and carts. The system is all but infallible … but no system is perfect. One day a delicious lunch is delivered to Saajan, a depressed, antisocial lifer putting in his time before retirement. I comes from Ila, a frustrated wife whose husband is having an affair. Hubby is oblivious to the fact that’s he’s getting the wrong food, but Saajan slowly wakes up to the possibility of something actually interesting in his life. They include notes to each other, the older man and the young woman, and a tender romance begins. You have to feel that it is doomed … but maybe not. I felt deeply for these two people.