Thursday, April 26, 2018
Things To Do

Review: 'The Lunchbox' is a bittersweet romance that delivers

The Lunchbox (PG) (104 min.) — Charming hearts and making hungry stomachs growl, Ritesh Batra's bittersweet romance delights. Set amid Mumbai's courier system of lunch delivery, a mistaken dropoff creates pen pals and perhaps more of an unfulfilled housewife and a bored bureaucrat.

As the wife Ila, Nimrat Kaur earned a best leading actress nomination for this month's International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Tampa. Ila is devoted to a husband who may be cheating, hoping to regain favor by preparing him lunches of his favorite recipes. The deliveries end up with an aging, melancholy soul named Saajan, played by Irrfan Khan (The Life of Pi), whose complimentary replies flatter Ila as her husband doesn't.

Saajan is smitten, first with the food — truly mouth-watering to see — and then by Ila's notes accompanying each meal. Two people trapped in dead-end existences develop a pen pal friendship with the faint chance of escaping with each other. Kaur and Khan, who was robbed of a IIFA nod, scarcely share a frame of The Lunchbox, yet the emotional connection of their characters is palpable.

Batra's story, also an IIFA nominee, is a smooth blend of pathos and comedy, the latter provided by best supporting actor nominee Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Saajan's eager co-worker, and Lillete Dubey as Ila's unseen mother, sending her spices and advice from upstairs. The Lunchbox doesn't fit the modern Bollywood mold of flashy musicals and action, but it's just as easily adored. A (Woodlands 20 in Oldsmar)

Steve Persall, Times movie critic

     
Comments
Neville Brothers saxophonist Charles Neville dead at 79

Neville Brothers saxophonist Charles Neville dead at 79

NEW ORLEANS ó New Orleans-born saxophone player Charles Neville has died at age 79. His career dated back to the 1950s and included gigs backing up B.B. King among others. But he was best known for three decades of performances with his siblings Aaro...
Updated: 6 hours ago
FEC plans crackdown on zombie campaigns

FEC plans crackdown on zombie campaigns

The federal agency that oversees elections has announced a crackdown on former lawmakers who continue to spend leftover campaign donations long after leaving office.The Federal Election Commission announced Wednesday that it will start scrutinizing t...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Big Boiís concert at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa: Canceled

Big Boiís concert at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa: Canceled

Well, this news is colder than a polar bear's toenails.Outkast rapper Big Boi has canceled his May 24 concert at the Ritz Ybor "due to unforeseen scheduling," according to a tweet from the venue. No further explanation was given, but refunds will be ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Wonder Woman 2 to take place in .. the í80s!

Wonder Woman 2 to take place in .. the í80s!

After the success of the Wonder Woman big-screen reboot in 2017, there was little doubt a sequel would be coming soon. But here's the fun twist: Wonder Woman 2 will be set in the 1980s!Screenrant.com says director Patty Jenkins confirmed the next mov...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Enjoy a beach day in Mahahual, minutes from the cruise port in Costa Maya, Mexico

Enjoy a beach day in Mahahual, minutes from the cruise port in Costa Maya, Mexico

A trip to the Caribbean conjures up visions of swaying palms and a watercolor palette of blues, greens and shades in between. Just 10 minutes or so from the port of Costa Maya, Mexico, a fixture on most western Caribbean cruise itineraries, lies an i...
Published: 04/26/18
5 things to do under $5 this week

5 things to do under $5 this week

Looking for free or cheap fun this weekend?
Published: 04/26/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 27

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 27

Waitress: The Broadway hit musical based on Adrienne Shelleyís film follows Jenna, a waitress stuck in a bad marriage and a small town. 8 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $45-$128. (8...
Published: 04/26/18
This week's best concerts: Flo Rida, Queens of the Stone Age, Bay 2 Beach Festival and more

This week's best concerts: Flo Rida, Queens of the Stone Age, Bay 2 Beach Festival and more

Want to see some live music?
Published: 04/26/18
5 things to do under $5: 10,000 Maniacs, Dragon Boat Races, Pepper Fest

5 things to do under $5: 10,000 Maniacs, Dragon Boat Races, Pepper Fest

Here's your free and cheap ideas for the weekend.
Published: 04/26/18
Less Than Zero series coming to Hulu

Less Than Zero series coming to Hulu

Of all the '80s flicks to be reborn as TV series, nobody had put any money on Less Than Zero to make the cut. And yet, that's the news: Hulu is developing a TV series based on the 1987 film that starred Andrew McCarthy, Robert Downey Jr., J...
Published: 04/26/18