Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Lunchbox

I went to The Lunchbox to see Irrfan Khan, that great soul, find his soulmate. Khan’s characters almost never get the girl. In movies like Life of Pi and TV shows like In Treatment, he generally plays a lonely existential hero, a man who feels and knows much more than most of us ever will but has no one to share his stories with. The Lunchbox, a love story in which the lovers don’t share any screen time, turns out to be a subtle variation on that theme.


The Israel of Bethlehem is a hamster wheel of a world: Everyone keeps running as fast as they can, trying to protect the people they love, but nobody ever makes any progress. It’s also one big, hugely dysfunctional family, a place where everyone—Jews, Arabs and Bedouins—is intimately connected to everyone else, for better or (more often) much, much worse.