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Romance thrives over lunch

In writer/director Ritesh Batra’s beguiling romance “The Lunchbox,” a virtual relationship blossoms not through a sexy operating system as in “Her,” or e-mail as in “You’ve Got Mail,” but the old-fashioned way, through carefully written notes delivered by hand every day. While much of the film transpires in Ila’s kitchen and in Saajan’s office, Batra also plunges the audience into the riotous city life of Mumbai, where we follow Saajan (played by Indian star Irfan Khan) onto crowded buses and streets to his lonely apartment and where Ila (Nimrat Kaur) barely ventures forth. What begins as a nagging sense of dissatisfaction eventually reveals the deeper, sorrowful reality of a woman’s life in India, as Ila’s hopes for her future become increasingly thwarted and constrained. Extras on the DVD/Blu-ray combo include commentary by Batra. Sony, $41

Washington Post