Watching THE LUNCHBOX in a tony locality in Gurgaon, the essence of the movie was summed up by a bunch of girls sitting ahead of me- hey we never knew that letter writing brews, ferments and intoxicates romance in such a manner. They further commented that the -syndrome of 140 character messages indeed had destroyed the romance of lives and perhaps THE LUNCHBOX for the romantics is a clarion call to go back again to the art of writing letters and discovering what romance is all about and this is what has endeared the audience all over the world.
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Indeed the odes and paeans that have been sung for the written words by the world of cinema more so Hindi cinema would not have any such parallels across the world, and perhaps THE LUNCHBOX has emerged as the reminder at the right time to go this genre once again.
What has also been critical factor in making THE LUNCHBOX a roaring hit is underlining the element of loneliness that pervades our existence and dominates it on a day in and day out basis. As in drama or theatrical performance Ritesh Batra has used the element of soliloquy through the character of Bharati Achrekar to underline the loneliness in our lives and how in spite of all odds one continues to persevere along. Mumbai has been used as metaphor of loneliness, loneliness discovered by the female character Nimrat Kaur when she smells the clothes of her husband while washing it and finds another female perfume which further accentuates her loneliness.
It is in fact through the letters that have been exchanged and Nimrat Kaur is ready to run away from home with Irrfan Khan and one wonders whether this kind of courage could have emanated had these messages been exchanged through a chat or a tweet or an SMS? Letter writing and romance are indeed two sides of the same coin and for want of either of them, the other becomes meaningless and this is what in essence the theme of THE LUNCHBOX is.