Review : The Lunchbox

The Lunchbox: A Sumptuous Meal

Ritesh Batra’s first offering is like a three course meal which has all the spices albeit in apt proportion.

The story is of a to be retired Govt Employee Sajan Fernandes (Irfan Khan) a widower and Ila (Namrit Kaur) who is a housewife and whose life exists around her husband Rajeev (Nakul Vaid) and her daughter Yashvi. Ila’s only companion is her neighbor Mrs. Despande (Voice of Bharati Achrekar) who gives her tips how to make her husband happy. One day the lunchbox meant for Rajeev by mistake is delivered to Sajan and it starts a conversation between Sajan and Ila through The Lunchboxletters which they sent to each other in the lunchbox. How the relationship between these two characters blossoms constitutes the crux of the story.

The main hero of the movie is the script and story written by Ritesh Batra. It is poignant, honest and extremely heart wrenching. It captures the loneliness of staying in a big city beautifully. The story is sweet, humorous and at the same time sad, definitely a beautiful mix. The screenplay is slow but the details that it captures somehow compensates to the slow pace. Ritesh has written every sequence with élan. It is undoubtedly one of the best stories of 2013.

Performance wise it is brilliant, what can you expect with Irfan Khan & Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the same frame, it was crackling. But surprise packet is Namrit Kaur as Ila who is relatively new to bollywood but she shines with her riveting performance which matches the likes of Irfan and Nawazuddin, truly brilliant. Her loneliness is depicted quite expressively by her expressions.
Irfan as Sajan is brilliant; his precision in the characterization is to be seen to be believed. Nawazuddin Siddiqui as usual gives another crackling performance. Bharati Achrekar though is only heard as Mrs Deshpande gives a dynamo performance through her voice, she actually gives the comic relief to the proceedings. Another performance by Lilette Dubey who plays Ila’s mother is impactful, though she is actually in two scenes but she does justice to her character.

Cinematography by Michael Simmons captures Mumbai beautifully and gives enough depth to the story. Production design by Shruti Gupte is realistic and minimalistic and does not overcrowd the proceedings of the story.

Ritesh’s direction captures the nuances of the characters correctly and makes the characters believable. He has captured the pains and loneliness of his characters through their expressions.

“The Lunchbox” is a fulfilling meal, the taste of which lingers even after the movie is over. A definite watch. I will go with 4 stars.

Review : RUSH

RUSH: A biopic which gives an adrenaline rush

Academy award winner Ron Howard has a penchant for biopic, one of his movie “A Beautiful Mind” a biopic on the mathematician John Nash who suffered from schizophrenia won him an Academy award for best director.

“RUSH” is another Howard biopic based on the famous F1 racers James Hunt andRush Nikki Lauda in the 70’s.

The story chronicles the rivalry between Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Lauda (Daniel Brühl) and the F1 championship of 1976, which was quite eventful with Lauda meeting with an accident on the tracks which almost took his life in Germany. It also showcases the turbulent personal life of James Hunt and his wild ways and living in the edge compared to Lauda’s more planned and calm life.

The script & screenplay by Peter Morgan is captivating and thrilling. It takes a peek on the personal life of the famed racers and their trials and tribulation beautifully never ever slowing the pace. The screenplay has its nail biting moments especially the race sequences.

The race sequences take your breath away especially when they show it through the driver’s angle. The cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle is excellent and captures the 70’s well. The production design by Mark Digby is perfect and every detail is taken care to give an apt 70’s look. Costume Design by Julian Day re-creates the 70’s style with élan giving the authenticity to the story. Editing by Daniel P Hanley & Mike Hill is taut and maintains a pace which was required for the narration.

Performances by all the actors are one of the highlights of the movie. Both Chris Hemsworth & Daniel Brühl give a crackling performance and are convincing as an F1 racer. The body language and the swagger everything has been detailed well in their portrayal. Chris who plays the casanova Brit, James Hunt suits the role to the T and his portrayal does justice to the character. On the other hand Daniel who played the calculated Nikki Lauda the Austrian racer who faces a personal setback after the accident portrays the character with conviction and connects instantly; especially when he returns to the race after his accident and procures the 3rd spot I wanted to scream with joy that is how realistic the portrayal was. Other actors like Olivia Wilde who plays Hunt estranged wife and Alexandra Maria Lara who played Lauda’s Italian wife support the boys with their convincing performance. Rest of the support cast do justice to their roles.

Director Ron Howard comes up with yet another masterpiece with RUSH. The movie is thrilling, entertaining and above all inspiring. Ron successfully connects with his audience well and does justice to the script with his taut direction.

It is very rare that a movie touches you so well that you tend not to forget it, RUSH is such a kind of cinema. I would go with 4 stars.