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The Lunchbox

The Lunchbox

Ritesh Batra

India, Germany, France, United States | 2013 | Genre: Drama, Romance | first feature film | running time: 104’

"A tender, ingenious tale of romance by correspondence."
Deborah Young - The Hollywood Reporter

festivals & awards

Critics' Week, Cannes Film Festival 2013


In Mumbai, home to over 18 million people, more than 5,000 famously efficient dabbawallas — lunchbox couriers — navigate chaotic streets to deliver lunches, lovingly prepared by housewives, to working men across the city. Ila (Kaur) is a housewife living in a middle-class neighbourhood with a husband who ignores her. Saajan (Khan) is a beaten down widower about to retire from his number-crunching job. After Ila realizes that Saajan is receiving the meals meant for her husband, the two begin sending each other letters through the lunchbox. What starts as an innocent exchange about Ila's cooking gently develops into something more. Outside the space of their daily lives, both Ila and Saajan feel free to express themselves in new ways, leading them both to question how they might find happiness.


original title

The Lunchbox


Drama, Romance


India, Germany, France, United States

running time


produced by

Sikhya Entertainment - India

in co-production with

ASAP Films - France
Rohfilm - Germany

directed by

Ritesh Batra


The Match Factory

A mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects a young housewife to an older man.
TFL Programmes

FrameWork 2012

Ritesh Batra

Scriptwriter, Film Director

Guneet Amarpreet Kaur