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Last Updated 17.09.2019 | 11:56 AM IST



Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur overwhelmed by the BAFTA nomination

The Lunchbox seems to be going from strength to strength. More than a year after its release it has now won itself a nomination in the prestigious BAFTA (British Academy Of Films & Talevision Arts) in the ‘Best Film, Not In The English Language’ category.

Irrfan Khan who not only played the widower-hero in The Lunchbox but also co-produced the film says, “The ongoing triumph of the film is a reminder that stories from India could engage and entertain a universal audience.”

Nimrat Kaur who shot to fame as the lonely housewife alchemizing her angst in cooking adds, “The film is a Pandora’s box with unending surprises. What surprises even more is the people’s ceaseless love for it. It feels very special to be nominated alongside such amazing films as Ida, Leviathan, Trash and Two Days One Night. It’s a proud and grateful moment for the entire Lunchbox team.”

Ritesh Batra feels the film’s road to the Oscar has now taken a delightful diversion. “The love for the film has been very overwhelming beyond anything I expected. I knew it would be liked. But I didn’t know it’d be loved so much. Every actor, everyone involved with the film thought our film would take the road to the Oscars. That’s why everyone was so vocally disappointed when we were not selected. It’s not as if anyone had anything personal against the film that was selected (The Good Road).”

Like all works of enduring charm The Lunchbox is a manifestation of a team effort. Says Batra, “No one did The Lunchbox for the love of the money. We were all in it for the love of the film. It was always important for the film to work in India. All the love that the film got outside India would not have meant anything if it didn’t succeed at home.”

And why, according to Batra does the film work so well? “I think it worked in India because it’s a sincere attempt to look at Mumbai and its people. I spent time with the dabbawallas in 2007 and then again closer to the making of the film. I just spent time with them. Initially I wasn’t planning a film revolving around the dabbawallahs. I was planning a documentary on them. I hoped to find a character within the dabbawallah’s community. Then when they started relating their experiences, the story of The Lunchbox emerged.”

The director worked against all odds to make The Lunchbox. “The film’s budget was very small. And only 50 percent of the money came from India. The rest we had to generate from outside India. There was also a German and a French producer. So that money which was raised from France and Germany had to be used in those countries. That is the rule. We did the sound in Germany. We also had a German music composer. And we did the colours in France. I’d still like to make my films around the world. Such collaboration brings a lot to the table. Every producer adopted the film. There was no creative confusion.”

Interestingly, The Lunchbox was born out of Batra’s love for cooking and his love for…love. “I love to cook. This film was born out of my love for food. I have cook in my kitchen at least once a week. I rate myself very low as a cook I’d definitely read the reviews about my cooking if they ever came out. I find my parents’ love story very inspiring. They’ve been together since 1973 and still very much in love. My own love story started in the US where I met my wife. She is Mexican. We were both studying in the US. We moved to Mumbai two years ago. Mexican and Punjabi lifestyles are similar. Their love for food for example.”

More Pages: The Lunchbox Box Office Collection , The Lunchbox Movie Review

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