Thursday, January 18, 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
You can buy the balls from Amalie’s Beach Tampa exhibit at auction

You can buy the balls from Amalie’s Beach Tampa exhibit at auction

More than 100,000 people showed up at Amalie Arena in 2016 to frolic in a huge ball pit. It was a sea of 1.2 million white orbs so vast that grown men could belly flop and remain afloat. Almost two years after the Beach Tampa packed up, some 15,000 l...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Extraordinary heroism deserves a less ordinary movie than ‘12 Strong’

Extraordinary heroism deserves a less ordinary movie than ‘12 Strong’

After 16 years of combat and counting, the war in Afghanistan gets a happy movie ending in 12 Strong, a thick slice of patriot porn.Based on a true story, 12 Strong rightfully celebrates the first U.S. Special Forces unit battling Taliban forces shel...
Published: 01/18/18
Overtourism and safety cited in Fodor’s where-not-to-go list

Overtourism and safety cited in Fodor’s where-not-to-go list

As you contemplate all those "where to go in 2018" lists, here’s a twist: a list of places to avoid in the new year. The where not to go list is from Fodor’s, the travel guidebook publisher. Fodor’s "no list" includes places plagued by overtourism an...
Published: 01/18/18

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballMurray State at Belmont7 p.m.ESPNUJacksonville State at Morehead State7 p.m.CBSSNWomen: Florida at Arkansas7 p.m.SECWomen: Tennessee at Notre Dame7 p.m.ESPNMinnesota at Maryland8:30 p.m.FS1UNC Asheville at Winthrop9 p.m.ESPNUSt...
Updated: 8 hours ago
‘The X-Files’ Season 11, Episode 3: 18 things we learned in ‘Plus One’

‘The X-Files’ Season 11, Episode 3: 18 things we learned in ‘Plus One’

The X-Files delights in keeping viewers on their toes, asking dozens of questions and only half-answering half … only to turn around a few episodes (or seasons) later and challenge those same notions. Herewith is a list of things we learned in ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Shake Shack, Momofuku and more: Please come to Tampa Bay

Shake Shack, Momofuku and more: Please come to Tampa Bay

Fabio is coming! Not the Fabio on your romance novel, with the billowing hair and large quantities of artificial butter. This Fabio, in all likelihood, uses real butter. And olive oil. Fabio Viviani, the charming Top Chef alum known for appearances...
Published: 01/17/18
Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

LA SEGUNDAA Tampa Bay giant has stirred and is on the move. La Segunda Central Bakery, a family-owned Ybor City institution for nearly 103 years (they celebrated that birthday Jan. 15) and the largest producer of Cuban bread in the world, will open a...
Published: 01/17/18
SoundBytes: Black Angels, Black Lips, Carbon Leaf, Ripe and more

SoundBytes: Black Angels, Black Lips, Carbon Leaf, Ripe and more

— Psych-rockers the Black Angels, above, and Black Lips are teaming up for a spring tour that'll hit the State Theatre on April 18. Click here for details.— Nathaniel Rateliff and the  Night Sweats are coming to Jannus Live on May 5 ...
Published: 01/17/18
Plan your weekend Jan. 19-21: Gasparilla Children’s Parade, Jake Owen, Riverdance, Florida Orchestra’s Dvorak

Plan your weekend Jan. 19-21: Gasparilla Children’s Parade, Jake Owen, Riverdance, Florida Orchestra’s Dvorak

Plan your weekendGasparillaChildren’s Parade: A week before the more raucous pirate invasion, the G-rated version hits the streets. The Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza and Parade kicks off Gasparilla season with a bicycle safety rodeo on Saturday ...
Published: 01/17/18
13 things to do in Tampa Bay on Jan. 18

13 things to do in Tampa Bay on Jan. 18

Darlene Love: One of the most influential singers in rock and roll, Love has been singing since the 1950s. She was one of the legendary backup singers featured in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom. 8 p.m., Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. ...
Published: 01/17/18