Sometimes Bollywood movies feel like you are experiencing zombie apocalypse already. Its like the story line, the dialogues, the acting, the songs are all gnawing your brain and you come out dumber than when you entered the theater.
So what do you do with a movie that has Irrfan khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in it? You pretty much jump at your chance of resurrection and you go and watch it. I am talking about The lunchbox. It is a job so well done that it restored my diminishing faith in Indian Cinema. I am a human again.
It’s a story that revolves around a neglected wife, Illa who believes her enhanced culinary skills would make her husband notice her again and relieve her of the drab of a life she has been living. She does find relief not from her own husband though. When The Lunchbox meant for her husband by an error of the dabbahwaala lands up at Saajan’s, a widower, office table. Saajan is fast approaching retirement from his dull and average job . Feelings are. what are exchanged through lunch box from then on.
Now you might think what got into me that I talk of a movie that has been released quite a while ago. Thats because I rewatched Life in a Metro. And I could not help but notice the stark similarity in a way.
Two undermined Housewives Illa and Shikha(Shipa shetty in life in a metro) in a loveless marriage find solace and love outside of it. Both of them are blessed with husbands who are obnoxious and heartless in their own way. And yes they are philanderer. So basically the housewives are living a life so pathetic that the audience would feel happy for them when they find love outside of their wedlock.
So far so good. Now I wait eagerly for that moment. When the wife would finally kick the sorry asses of their husband and walk out of it. But it ain’ t happening. Wait, What? I ain’t getting no action? While one sorry Ass gets the wife back, the other’s is still progressive as she plans to leave for another country. We see a plan there though even if we don’t see her actually doing it.
That is what disappointed me. Why couldn’t the women be shown walking out and accepting the love that they deserve. Because they aren’t sure if the audience is prepared yet. Are we so open-minded and progressive e to accept the wife’s affair or are we still clinging on to the whole saga of how a wife should work out her marriage. The age-old formula. And for me this is where the creative glitch lies. This is where I see a powerful movie succumbing to the demand and narrow-mindedness of the society. The movie just doesn’t break free from the expectations and bondage just as the women don’t.
So what if the husbands are scum bags? The man is shown sleeping around on various occasions. The woman isn’t. Because the woman should return chaste. So the one time she wants to give in to her feelings, the douche of a friend has to return early and spoil it.
It is okay for a groom to abandon his wedding though. The bride is just a mere measurement of blouse and petticoat. We can accept that. See aren’t we progressive?
Having said that I loved these movies. More so The Lunch box.