The Lunch Box

So this review will get lost in 100 of other reviews that this movie will be getting. Accolades and praises for this awesome 109 minutes of cinematic brilliance.

And of course now controversy too since the movie is not official entry for the Oscars.

Irrespective of all that, those who have not watched the movie… please do. Sheer food for the soul.

I am not going to give the story away except for reference to the ending (or no ending).

What is amazing is the premise. The Mumbai dabbawalas are known for their efficiency and error free delivery mechanism. Wikipedia states one wrong delivery in 6-8 million deliveries. And the premise built on that one wrong delivery which leads to a feastĀ for emotions.

Now I am not the kind to go overboard for romantic movies. Give me action any day but this movie is stunning. Romance apart, which will leave an ache. Its the characters that make for the brilliance. Irrfan Khan… by the time he is done with Bollywood, he would have set benchmarks in acting that very few would be able to achieve. Here is a man who doesn’t have to say a word and yet says everything. Nawazuddin is in the same mode and the interaction between the two… it’s like you are watching two colleagues talk in front of you and not on a large screen.

Nimmat Kaur has done a fabulous job.. handling the myriad of emotions that go through a person when faced with something like what she does in the movie.

The climax when it happens. Actually it doesn’t. The titles just start rolling and the lights come on. I noticed that most people in the theater were still glued to their seats. Waiting for more. Waiting for a closure. Because convention says that each story must have an ending. Happy or otherwise… it needs a closure and this movie has no closure.

And that makes us human beings uncomfortable. All our lives we seek closure on everything. Everything that has a beginning, must at the end be neatly tied up and resolved. Very few of us go through life not seeking a closure. And the point is.. why seek a closure? Why does it satisfy us? Wont the life be lot more interesting if one did not have a closure? It would be a continuous streaming of experiences – multiple experiences that are happening at the same time and we are not boxing them into different compartments as done and dusted. Think about it.. lead a life without seeking closure or a finality or where it must end. Why should there be an end… You should not at the beginning of an experience define how you want the end to be… that is killing the experience even before it starts…

Am digressing though.. the point of this post was to talk about a brilliant movie and exhorting everyone to watch it..


Cinema is a hit

I don’t know how many of you have noticed… but most movies that get released are doing reasonably well. Some, of course are huge like Chennai Express (and those who haven’t watched, must see the movie… its worth one look). I don’t think producers are really complaining. All monies are probably getting recovered.

While the conclusion probably would be that the movies are getting promoted better and that the studios have become marketing savvy. I think the reason for success lies somewhere else.

Cut to the 70’s and 80’s… cinema was an escape. Unlike the world today, there was nothing to do other than going out for the movies. Also the bigger factor… as a country we were stuck in a time warp and our lives were mundane and inactive. We had dreams but given theĀ economic inequalities we were unable to fulfill the dreams. The whole socialism angle of Congress meant that we had to make do with what we had.. Cinema became an escape from the depressing world around us… the Impala Cars… shots of stars getting off the aircraft and walking to the terminal… and Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan) brought the angst alive with his portrayals… Movies ran for weeks and weeks.. silver jubilee, golden jubilee… people watched one movie more than once. I remember watching Sholay 5 times!

Cut back to the present – the world has changed. There is lot more to do and avenues of watching a movie are more than one – theater, TV, download, youtube… And it is not just the movie… there is actually lot more one can do with his or her life. We should be happy (or are happy as the last happiness index had suggested). But last one year… things haven’t been good.. have they? The optimism.. happiness… it is all on the surface. There is fear, apprehension and despondency bubbling under the surface. And economical events of past month or so have increased it further.

And that perhaps is the reason why movies are back in fashion over the last one year or maybe a little longer. We are looking for that two hour escape.

Dabang rocks because hell! we don’t mind a cop being on the take as long as he protects the common man (job he is supposed to do). so does Ek Tha Tiger… we all want to be heroes saving our country from all the shit and of course the romance… Even The Avengers was a big grosser here because this country surely needs heroes.

Think about it… in a month when the country has been going through hell… Chennai Express has done over 200 crores (will probably discount the 300 figure). Not very hilarious.. but we laughed in that dark theater for those two hours and forgot about the rising fuel prices, rising prices, corrupt government losing case files, about balancing our budget while the government pushed through its plan which supposedly will help it win election..

So here we are… in our heads we are back in the 70’s & 80’s while the economy is as bankrupt as it was in 1991…