Report: Cannes 2013

Cannes samples flavours of The Lunchbox, by Indian film director Ritesh Batra

Semaine de la Critique

A peek at one of the several films from India at the Cannes Film Festival this year. The Lunchbox, or Dabba screened in the Critic’s Week.


Ritesh Batra’s first feature film is a love story which blooms thanks to an error in the legendary, and reputedly infallible, dabba delivery service.

The film, shot on HD, proved quite popular at the Critic’s Week in Cannes where only first and second feature films are selected.

Cannes 2013

The plot of the film is simple. There are three main characters. The neglected housewife (Nimrat Kaur), the lonely office worker approaching retirement (Irffan Khan) and a young recruit eager to impress his boss and his new wife (Nawazuddin Siddiqui).

The housewife carefully prepares food for her husband each day, as so many do.
This one, Ila, is hoping that her attentions, with the help of her off-screen neighbour’s advice on spice, will win back her husband’s love.

Instead, the dabba delivery man’s mistake, warms the heart of the office worker, who thoroughly appreciates the good food and Ila’s efforts.

Nimrat Kaur who also acted in Peddlers directed by Vasan Bala and selected by the Critic’s Week in 2012, told RFI why she accepted this role.

“It’s so simple and yet it’s so universal. It’s about two people who haven’t quite kept pace with the way the world works. It’s so charming. It’s such a fantasy. I’d love this to happen to someone I know.”

Her lover-by-letter and by lunch-box is Sajaan.

Irffan Khan, who has a long filmography in India and abroad told us that in his career, he’s felt somewhat love-starved.

“So this has a kind of emotional world which was very sweet, very unique, and very interesting. And I’m fond of doing love stories. I didn’t get chance to do love stories in my life, so I keep looking for love stories and this gave me a chance to play a love story.”

All sated and well-fed with The Lunch Box, we look forward to director Ritesh Batra’s next cinema dish.

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