Ritesh Batra’s celebrated The Lunchbox, releasing soon in India, was one of the successes at the closed-doors Telluride Film Festival, which ends annually just two-three days before Toronto begins. Telluride is unique in that it keeps its schedule secret till the fest begins and frowns on media coverage till it’s over.
Toronto gains added lustre with Telluride’s rising whispers on the films that excite comment. How to be a Millionaire Telluride shimmer led to it stealing Toronto’s spotlight -- and then took over the world. That’s festival strategy -- and luck -- for you.
It’s interesting to find that The Lunchbox is being perceived here as a film mainly about a gutsy, neglected woman trying forlornly to kindle some life into her sad marriage.
The film is a triangular acting triumph, Irrfan impeccable as the elderly man, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, a perfect foil as his office companion and Nimrat Kaur in particular excelling as the perturbed young housewife.
Critics cry foul on fewer women filmmakers on display at festivals, outnumbered as they are in a male-driven profession. The irony is that the majority of films that draw interest and the crowds are on the roles that women play or take on in life. Particularly true of Toronto this year.