Ever since I had heard about this movie, I had this anticipation in me and this sense of excitement. I wanted to watch it and see how it is, not because of all the rave reviews it was gathering at film festivals, or because of what people that had seen the movie were saying about it; but simply because of the subject matter. It intrigued me, that in a world that is so technologically advanced – where a person can’t seem to leave their smartphones alone or can’t stop using their computers – someone had made a film about contemporary method of communication and that also, in the most diabolical and extraordinary way!
Using the contemporary art of writing letters, the film has projected many hidden messages, for the viewer to grasp and think about. The silver lining of this film, is the beauty of coincidences and how connections are formed. To someone who wouldn’t go in to the detail of this movie, this movie might not give that much food for thought, but to a person like me, who has been through a lot in life and who has a very analytical eye, when it comes to watching movies and relating them to real life – I got many things out of the movie, worth thinking about.
The film basically is about two people, but the real protagonist of the movie isn’t the two characters in the film, but the lunch box itself which acts as a medium of communication between the two characters. One of the characters in the movie is a 40 something man, who works in a claims department of a company. He is shown as someone facing a midlife crises, bored of life and his monotonous routine. On the other hand we have a woman in her late 20s, who makes the food and packs the lunch box every day, for someone she holds special – but it reaches someone else instead; the man at the claims department. She is shown to be miserable and frustrated in her life and equally bored of her family life and routine.
The film’s premise is that, love can happen without meeting the other person and this movie does a fairly good job of arguing just that. It slowly builds up to the climax, where we realise that both of them are falling in love with one another and how it changes their life. Irony is, the film does such a good job in building up to that point of realisation, that we don’t even question it. We know automatically, that love is developing between the two, even though they haven’t met. The film shows many things, where we get subtle hints of this happening.
The anticipation of the arrival of the lunch box by both – at lunch time in office and when the box returns home back to the woman, the gradual build up of the length and nature of the replies being sent back and forth in the lunch box, the softening of the angry attitude by the man and the constant smiles by the woman; all tell us that the lunch box is doing more than it was intended to. It is developing love between two strangers, who haven’t even met, but are only connected by food.
I guess what they say is correct then? The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. At least the way to my heart is through my stomach and it seems to be the case with the character in the film as well. Initially all he can do is, compliment about the quality of the food he is getting, how good it tastes and smells. It is the food, which leads him to start expecting his lunch box every day at lunch and wonder about who it is, that sends him the box.
When the female realises that her food is actually being appreciated by a random stranger – she gets to know this, because the box returns back home empty – she becomes more enthusiastic about cooking every day. She writes the stranger a letter and places it in the box along with the lunch, telling him that it was meant for someone else, but thank you for returning it back empty and thus begins a beautiful series of letter exchanges which slowly somewhat make their lives more beautiful.
One thing that this does for both of them is, it teaches them to appreciate life and what they have. It teaches them to appreciate the people that are in their lives and it teaches them to smile. The woman goes to meet her parents, whom she hasn’t seen for a couple of years. The man stops being rude to a male colleague of his and starts to listen to what is happening around him. This is what love does to people and it is beautifully portrayed in the film. It is even more beautiful, because the movie is very to the point with nothing extra. Everything in the movie fits together really perfectly.
The movie has a lot of lessons to give. One of the things is, we become so busy in our daily lives – with our work etc, that we forget to live life. That shouldn’t be the case. We shouldn’t neglect the people around us. No matter how much the people love us, we all need love and nurturing, if you won’t reciprocate then there will be problems. People get frustrated. What happens is, people wait around for us, but we are too busy to notice them or show interest. People get tired of waiting and being neglected, so they move on. Then we realise what happened and in most cases, it is already too late. Never let go of someone that cares for you.
This film tells us, never let go of someone that cares for you, even from a distance – even if it is someone you never met. You’ll regret it afterwards. It also tells us that there is no harm in reminiscing about our pasts and what happened, no harm in feeling nostalgic, but it should contribute to something positive regarding your present and your future. It basically tells us that no one should live in the shadows of their past. Like the man lost his wife, because of which he had become rude and anti-social. But because of the lunch box, he found a person to connect to and finally move on in life. We all need to keep moving on. No matter how hard it may seem. We must look forward in life, because where one person goes, someone else comes in.
I might be the lunch box connection of someone. Someone might be the lunchbox connection of mine. Two strangers might meet and become friends. It doesn’t necessarily have to be love, but it could be something beautiful worth cherishing. Difference being that in the real world, we can replace handwritten letters with e-mails/messages and the lunch box with the social media platform, because that is in rage these days – the main medium of communication. The point being, it is beautiful when two strangers come together, because you never know what those both are going through and how much they needed to connect. You never know how much they deserved to know someone new, who can pull them out of the miseries of their life and bring a smile to their face.
Don’t hesitate to share your food with a stranger next time, or saying hello to someone on Twitter or Facebook. You never know how important that stranger might become for you!