The Lunch Box

The Lunch Box, a great love story tale that presented the story in a very unique yet entertaining way, through notes exchanged by two strangers.

In regards to the topic of orientalism in film, this movie felt a lot more authentic compared to the movie seen in the previous week, Lost in Translation. In Lost in Translation, you could clearly tell that the Japanese people were not accurate portrayed in the film, as Hollywood usually does, they show the extreme, exaggerated version of cultures that are not North American. This film however, felt a lot more authentic, and so did their portrayal of the Indian culture. Granted, this movie was created in India, by an Indian director, and Lost in Translation was created by an American Director.

Many of the real cultural issues that are present in India today are apparent in this film. One issue shown is the problems occur in arranged marriage. Ila, is clearly disconnected from her husband, and this seems apparent because they were most likely marriage by arrangement, which is how most marriages are conducted in India. It could also just be general “boredom” that typically happens half way through in marriages, but in this context, the disconnection seems very extreme. The husband would barely talk to his wife, even when Ila made efforts to re-kindle the relationship (example is the scene where Ila puts on a dress that she wore during her honey moon, in order to spark something in her husband, and he just blatantly ignores her).

Another issue is that even though the marriage is clearly failing, Ila does not want a divorce, which is another common issue in India. Most females from a very young age, are told how “bad” and cruel divorcing your husband is, and how her main duty or role, is to serve the husband (make him lunch, make sure he is ok, etc.). This is clearly evident in this movie, as Ila does not want a divorce, because really, due to the culture of the country, she cant. As this article states, India’s law system obviously allows couples to divorce, but its their religion, Hinduism, that frowns upon it, which is why most woman in India are pretty much stuck in bad marriages with no way out.

On another note, this movie displayed this love story in a very innovative yet entertaining way. They exchanged notes

without even knowing the other person, and actually probably fell semi-in-love. What this reminded me of was the North American culture today, of how in most relationships today, couples usually just text and have very little personal, face to face interaction, especially with younger couples. I do not know if that was the directors intent, to show how different yet similar the cultures are between India and North America, but I found this connection to be very interesting.

In terms of this movie, a Hindi film, compared to the style of an American made movie, there are apparent differences. This movie was very slow and “quiet” which is not a bad thing. A common thing in Indian films is that they really move the plot and movie very slowly, and never rush any scenes or story lines, they let the viewer really “digest” the plot before moving on. This is very similar to the old Hollywood films from the 50s, 40s, 30s, and 20s, where the story moved slowly. However, in today’s times, Hollywood movies are very past paced, and “flashy”, which is apparent in Lost in Translation, where the movie is more over the top and clearly more fast paced than this Indian movie.


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