LunchBox: Emotional excursions for two modern metropolis melanchol souls

Nikspeaks Cinema
4 min readAug 8, 2021

Lunchbox was one movie which gave me all the 3 things that I really love on a platter- movie, food and silence that often speaks and emote more than sometimes words do.

Khaane mei Khayal hai

Its a movie set in the hustle bustle of metropolis Mumbai whose eagerness and quickness perhaps rubs off the emotions out of people’s life and sets in a pensive emotional melancholy which can make anyone seek emotional refuge and settlement in life, in a abode which isn’t yours.

Irfan Khan, a widowed husband who has been labouring since past 35 years at a desk Job in a government insurance’s claim department. He had camouflaged his loneliness in the mundane office routines and reflection of his wife’s memory and the time that he spent with her and things he wished he could tell her.

Nimrat Kaur is a middle aged wife who is busy in the daily routines of a married housewife in India whose life revolves around her kids and husband while what what she wants and hankers for-nobody cares for that. While she has been trying to gather his husband’s attention via food or enticing him, nothing seems to work out. The melancholy and Misanthropy that a boring marriages bring seems to haunt her and she has been trying to reference her own marriage with that of an “invisible aunty” that she shares a friendly vibe with and with that of her own mother.

One underlying common focal point in both her referential marriages has been how male dominant these marriages have been and how every time it was the woman sacrificing her being for that of a man, while the men are oblivious of the women’s need for love. This scares her to death.

On the other hand, for Irfan Khan, his source of pensive sadness has been the lack of family around his to come back to, someone whom he can share his pain, sorrow and happiness.

An interesting observation that I had in the movie was that sometimes having people around doesn’t necessarily qualify as having a family. Irfan Khan had no one and was lonely, Nimrat Kaur had everything- a kid, a husband, parents and she was still lonely and hurt.

Having people that make you heard and wanted is important, having people probably isn’t.

The conversations between two central characters and the story that leads to build up of those conversation is immensely beautifully setup. Why I said immensely because you could see the story arc progressing in a sensible manner where every repercussion had an emotional sentiment of present or past situation. The story is breathtakingly fresh from the aggressive and over the top movies that we had been served by the Bollywood so far!

Also another anecdote from the movie was the emotions that the cook and eater of the food had with the lunchbox and how a simple lunchbox is a symbolism of the equation between two people. It emotes the pace and depth of a relationship between two people. While several people in the office received their tiffin in mundane and weren’t affected much by the arrival of it; Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur, on the other hand, always had some sense of excitement before receiving the lunchbox. This emotional excursion from dull and boring life that they were leading via those letters and the image that they had forged for reach other in their mind reignited some new passions and rigours in their life.

One of the most beautiful and perhaps under mentioned, appreciated thing in the movie are its silences which are just like salt in the food, in the right amount and right place, running the emotion in the background while not stopping the action to any reaction of the characters.

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