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Nimrat Kaur: ‘Neither Ritesh, Irrfan nor I visualised what a rage The Lunchbox would go on to become’

Love and food… Everyone has a story connecting these two fundamental needs and one such story is The Lunchbox, says actor Nimrat Kaur on why the film continues to stay relevant even after a decade.

The movie, directed by Ritesh Batra and also starring Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, had its world premiere at International Critics’ Week at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. It was released in theatres on September 20, 2013.

Kaur said the film resonates with the audience even today because of its relatable themes. “I feel people relate to it (The Lunchbox) because it stimulates the two basic urges of a human being, which is love and food. All of us have some stories, some connection to both of these sentiments. And, it also addressed loneliness.

“It also addressed unrequited wishes, and it was such a love letter to Bombay. So it’s a gift that’s going to keep giving and I’m very, very grateful for it. For me, it’s a turning point. It’s a milestone in life. It’s given me everything I am,” Kaur told PTI.

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The Lunchbox is a tender epistolary romance which revolves around Ila, a neglected young homemaker (Kaur) who forms a bond with a stranger through a delicious change of fate when the lunchbox intended for her husband gets delivered to Saajan (Irrfan), a reclusive widower, who is about to retire from his accountancy job and has to train his replacement (Siddqui).

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Kaur, who was a relatively newer face in the industry back then, said every film has its journey and even director Batra and co-star Irrfan didn’t visualise what a phenomenon The Lunchbox would go on to become. “Every project has its destiny, which no one can foresee. I believe The Lunchbox was genuinely one of those projects that no one would have expected (it to be) the kind of a rage it became.

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“No one had expected that, including Irrfan, Ritesh or anyone. I was just a new face. I was just picked up for the project because they were looking for a person who didn’t carry the baggage of other jobs, a lot of exposure on screen,” Kaur added.

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Following The Lunchbox, the actor went on to star in the acclaimed American TV series Homeland. She currently stars in School of Lies, a series currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

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