movie: The Lunch Box
starring: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur
format: Netflix Canada
plot: After making lunch for her husband and having it delivered to the wrong person, a young housewife finds herself in an emotional affair.
Okay, first off, I was really reluctant to watch this. After the first few minutes of screen time that the lead male had, I was ready to turn it off. I was having a difficult time getting past the fact the actor looked like my dad, and in fact I did turn it off and went to do something else for twenty minutes.
Now, with that confession out of the way...it surprised me. This is something that ironically reminded me of a Jane Austen story with food. The two leads never meet. They spend the whole time, communicating through letters and food. What starts off as an off handed criticism ends up being a way to express the unexpressed.
We see both character's arch as they begin to come out of their shells, the one reconnecting to society after the death of his wife, the other gaining courage to leave her husband. The Khan character starts to soften towards a new co-worker who ends up being his replacement, first sharing his meal with him, allowing himself to forgive the fact the younger co-worker has been conning him.
I'm wishing there had been more food prep scenes. The first half hour is heavy on the importance of the food, then slowly shifts it's focus onto the letters they share. The two looking more forward to little scraps of notes then the actual meals.
You can look at this from a few points of view, one being how universal the expression of emotions through food truly is, another is about how trust is something that can pop up in the most unlikely of places. The theme of loneliness screams at you from every angle, when we see the Khan character sitting watching old vhs tapes of his wife's; to him just staring at the neighbours over dinner every night, to how the Kaur character finds herself buried in her daily tasks as caregiver to both her kid and parents, to how she tries to get her husband to even talk about the most basic of things.
I'm very pleased with myself for not crying through this. Films like this usually have me in tears, but for once, I am dry eyed and snot free.