Archive of films The Lunchbox / Dabba

India / France / Germany
2013, 104 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2013

Are you fed up with depressing social dramas? Then don’t miss a funny, elegant, and optimistic romance set in contemporary Mumbai. This properly "spiced” story of lost lunchboxes that engineer a love affair between attractive Ila and aging Saajan might have come from the well-greased typewriters of Hollywood’s classic era.


Fed up with depressing social dramas? Then don’t miss this funny, elegant and optimistic romance set in contemporary Mumbai. One of the city’s unusual phenomena is the 5,000-member community of Dabbawallahs, who have filled Mumbai’s streets for some 120 years. Every morning, this courier service delivers lunchboxes from housewives’ kitchens to their husbands’ offices, and then brings the empty boxes back in the evening. This incredibly sophisticated delivery system was even studied by a team from Harvard University, which found that only one in four million lunchboxes is delivered to the wrong person. This talented Indian filmmaker’s feature debut tells the story of this lunchbox. "Spiced” with just the right ingredients, this story of a wayward lunch that brings together the attractive but neglected wife Ila with the sad, retirement-ready Saajan could just as well have been written by a screenwriter from the golden age of Hollywood.

About the director

Ritesh Batra (b. 1978, Mumbai, India) is a director and screenwriter who divides his private and professional life between Mumbai and New York. In 2009, his project The Story of Ram was selected for the Sundance Institute’s screenwriting and directing workshop. He studied film at New York’s Tisch School of the Arts until 2010, and has made numerous short films that have been shown at festivals throughout the world. His feature-film debut was selected for Critics’ Week at this year’s festival in Cannes.


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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Ritesh Batra
Screenplay: Ritesh Batra
Dir. of Photography: Michael Simmonds, John Lyons
Music: Max Richter
Editor: John Lyons
Producer: Guneet Monga, Anurag Kashyap, Arun Rangachari
Production: Sikhya Entertainment, Dar Motion Pictures
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Contact: The Match Factory, Aerofilms
Distributor: Aerofilms


Ivo Andrle


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