The film is ready to release in India on September 20 after getting great buzz in festivals like Cannes and Telluride and Toronto. Karan says the film, starring Irrfan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, has the potential to find a mainstream audience.
"I think 'The Lunchbox' is quintessentially mainstream because it is a simple love story, connects with the audience directly and the emotions are beautifully shown. But within the parameters of a love story, it is a very unusual film because these two protagonists don't meet in the end despite all the love that they have for each other," Johar said during a promotional event for the film here.
With Johar's Dharma Productions and Disney-UTV, 'The Lunchbox' is getting a wide release. The film is produced by Guneet Monga, Anurag Kashyap and Arun Rangachari. When asked about the prospects of 'The Lunchbox' being selected from India to represent Oscars next year, Johar said, "We have lot of expectation from the film. It is our dream to take the film to the Oscars but India has to select the film first, so we are hopeful."
Batra, who set out to make another film before returning to 'The Lunchbox', said his initial plan was to make a documentary on the 'dabba' delivery system of Mumbai but he eventually got attracted to the personal stories behind every lunchbox. Irrfan, apart from being the lead, is also one of the producers on the film. The actor said he came onboard because he felt very close to the story.
"My first concern was to act in the film because it is a very beautiful love story but in that process, I realised that it needed my help as a producer also. I want to support stories that I believe in, so it is a good beginning," Irrfan said.
The actor said while it was challenging to play a character older than him, it was refreshing to be in a love story. Nimrat, who is making her debut with the film, said she now wants to work with Irrfan on another film where they actually share the screen together. "It is a personal dream to do a film with Irrfan where we share the screen together. There could be a sequel of 'The Lunchbox' where we meet in the end," she said.