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Dabba (The Lunchbox)

Dabba (The Lunchbox) Poster

Critic Rating


21 Reviews
17 Ratings
in favor

Audience Rating

5 Reviews
31 Ratings

Movie Info


Running Time




The Lunchbox is an Indian epistolary romantic film written and directed by Ritesh Batra, and produced by Guneet Monga, Anurag Kashyap, and Arun Rangachari. The film was jointly produced by various studios including UTV Motion Pictures, Dharma Productions, Sikhya Entertainment, DAR motion pictures, NFDC (India), ROH Films (Germany), ASAP Films (France), and the Cine Mosaic (United States). It stars Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in lead roles. Wikipedia

Dabba (The Lunchbox) Reviews


I’m going with five out of five for The Lunchbox. The greatest love stories are the ones that make you root for the protagonists to come together, despite their destinies. This film illustrates how love transforms the unlikeliest of people; it breaks down Saajan’s walls and gives Ila the courage to fly. Treat yourself to The Lunchbox – it’ll leave you with a craving to seek your own little happiness. Best film I’ve seen in a long time.

Shubhra Gupta
Indian Express


If it hadn't been for the occasional flatness, and a couple of predictable notes, there would have been no flaws in this dabba. I also found Ila's mother's (Lillete Dubey) segment, included solely to underline another kind of vacantness, a little forced. But these are tiny niggles in this film that gets the rest of it so right. Batra's characters are a delight. They may be of Mumbai, infused with intense desi flavours, but can inhabit any part of the world. You want to take them home, sit them down at your table, and savour them, one mouthful at a time.

Khalid Mohamed
Deccan Chronicle


What stays in the mind at the end of 'The Lunchbox' is pretty much what stays in mind at the end of a memorable set by jazzmen – not their lapses but the heights they scale.Bottomline: Bon appetit! Miss this sumptuous movie, at your own peril.

Raja Sen


It is a film of multiple pleasures -- small ones and overwhelming ones and exquisitely crafted ones -- layered one on top of the other, with something for everyone, and so, so much for the cinematic glutton. Like the dabbawalas he loves, this director delivers.

Anupama Chopra


The Lunchbox is poignant and powerful. It will make you laugh and cry. And it will also make you hungry – I was dying to eat paneer kofta and bhindi when it finished. I’m going with four stars and absolutely insisting that you see it.

Gorge into it and savour its lingering aftertaste. The Lunchbox holds riches that aren’t likely to be forgotten in a hurry.

Srijana Mitra Das
Times Of India


Its finesse qualifies this charmer as India's potential entry to the Oscars, The Lunchbox an unusual banquet, raising a bitter-sweet toast to life.

The fact that it has garnered so much acclaim even before its release in India is something no one can ignore. This one may not please those looking for a masala flick, but is more than your money's worth.


The Lunchbox is one of those films that will mesmerize you with dripping simplicity. Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur build their character intimately without meeting each other for once all through the film. Normally such stories lose their steam soon enough, but Batra’s expertise handles the film with its ingrained beauty of an unlikely love story. It is such a potent and effective film that I can’t really settle for anything less than 4.5/5. It is only sometimes that one encounters an unblemished film, this ranks among those few for me!

Saurabh Dwivedi
India Today


A highly recommended movie, that leaves you with a running film reel in your head, and a need to have have delicious food!

Taran Adarsh
Bollywood Hungama


THE LUNCHBOX is a standout film, a sumptuous treat that's sure to be relished by connoisseurs of cinema. A film with a big heart, it makes you realize that you can unearth contentment and pleasure even if you board the wrong train. Easily one of the finest films to come out of India.

Sachin Chatte
The Navhind Times


Virtually every scene in the film offers more than just what is shown or said. And it is not a serious film all the way, take the dabbawallah scene where he argues with the Ila that even Harvard university came to see them and so did English royalty!Do what you please but don’t miss The Lunchbox.

Rummana Ahmed
Yahoo! India


Ritesh Batra’s film is a winner all the way, an exceptional love story, where two individuals romance each other, much like the director romances Mumbai. A story like no other that will tug at your heartstrings and leave you misty-eyed. A story that is full of hope and is heart wrenching at the same time. A story that makes you want to break into spontaneous applause because it is incredible in so many ways.


It’s the most optimistic film of the year.There are plenty of moments to treasure in The Lunchbox, and they’re all small and delicately crafted. Those looking for romance will swoon with delight as they discover two lonely people can find a way to make things work.


Dear reader, this is a delicious, beautiful little film. Just don’t watch it on an empty stomach.

Komal Nahta


The Lunchbox is a delightfully delicious film. It will be simply loved by the classes and will score in the multiplexes of the big cities. The start in several centres may be slow but collections will pick up in the big cities due to positive mouth publicity. It will win a lot of accolades and awards too.

Audience Reviews for Dabba (The Lunchbox)

  • Saheb Abdullah
    Saheb Abdullah
    82 reviews
    Top Reviewer

    Great Screenplay, Excellent Direction, Brilliantly Acted By Irrfan Nawaz & Nimrat.

    May 10, 16
  • Lasit Roy
    Lasit Roy
    32 reviews
    Top Reviewer

    Mature love story. Unconventional. overall, outstanding. Great acting performence. Superb.

    November 27, 15
  • Sandeep Gupta
    Sandeep Gupta
    94 reviews
    Top Reviewer

    So what's so delicious inside The Lunchbox that everyone recommends to have a bite of it? Well, I could think of only one comparison i.e. it's like delicious home-made food on which this movie is based. Like home made food, it's all about the taste of the food which comes out when your mother or your wife or your sister cooks it with their unconditional love. It's not about flashy ambiance where food is served or expensive utensils in which food is served. So, The Lunchbox has lot of taste in small moments of love and sadness. The characters, locations, dialogs, atmosphere are all straight from the real life. The three lead actors Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in their superlative performances wear their characters like they wear their clothes. First half lights up with good blend of humor and emotions but like not all the time home-made food ends with sweet desert, so the movie also goes the unanticipated hard way and leave you to embrace its bitter sweet ending. All in all, Ritesh Batra's first cinematic dish is delicious but leaves you hungry at the end wanting for more.

    September 25, 13
  • Nagma
    15 reviews
    Senior Reviewer

    If you have experienced life in Mumbai, then you would easily connect with The lunchbox.
    It takes you into a journey of two lives which are completely different and yet so similar.Their interactions through notes hidden inside a lunchbox not only talk about food but a lot more about life, what has been missed and what can be gained to get happiness.
    There is a lot of humour too ...courtesy Nawazuddin. He fits into the character of being Irrfan's junior in his office so well.He claims that he is an orphan but gives statements like "meri ammi kehti hain.." by reasoning that such statements have more power(dumm) then "meri ammi kehti theen..."
    Irrfan is a christian widower staying alone in his old house with no one to speak to and he finds joy only in relishing the lunchbox he receives everyday. Expressions on his face are so natural that you really feel what he feels.
    Nimrat kaur has been good in her debut movie.She is a homemaker in the movie and speaks to her friend - deshpande aunty (who stays above her flat) through her kitchen window.
    Dabbawallas have also given their shots for this movie. In one scene, a dabbawalla argues with Nimrat that "Harvard wale log study karke gaye aur England ke raja ko bhi hamara kaam achcha laga to apko kaise problem hai?"
    Movie will make you laugh,cry, think and will also make you very hungry.
    Do not miss this masterpiece!

    October 02, 13