The Lunchbox (Dabba) 1.0 stars

Ila’s (Nimrat Kaur) recipe to buck up her marriage falls into the wrong hands when a delivery boy mistakenly hands over a four-course lunch (equipped with a spicy billet doux for dessert) to a lonely government employee (the exceptional Irrfan Khan) who is just weeks away from retirement. Writer-director Ritesh Batra’s idea of fleshing out the material is adding a subplot concerning the young and eager pup who is poised to replace our hero. Were it possible to leave my seat, enter the frame, and strangle a character, Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s unceasingly annoying Shaikh wouldn’t have made it past the first reel. Once the intricacies of the four-tiered cylindrical lunch pail are revealed, all that’s left is a one-joke film with only two flimsy running gags to support it. 2013.

Scott Marks

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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