34th Annual Film Series Continues with ‘The Lunchbox’ Feb. 7

The Oklahoma City University Film Institute’s series will continue its 34th year at 2 pm Feb. 7 with Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox in the Kerr McGee Auditorium of Meinders School of Business.

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In The Lunchbox, middle-class Mumbai housewife Ila is trying to add some spice to her marriage, this time through her cooking. She desperately hopes a new recipe will finally arouse her neglectful husband. She prepares a special lunchbox to be delivered to him at work, but, unbeknownst to her, it is mistakenly delivered to another office worker, a lonely man on the verge of retirement. Curious about the lack of reaction from her husband, she puts a little note in the following day’s lunchbox, in the hopes of getting to the bottom of the mystery. This begins a series of lunchbox notes between her and the man, and the mere comfort of communicating with a stranger anonymously soon evolves into an unexpected friendship. The two begin to discover a new sense of self even if lost in a virtual relationship that could jeopardize both their realities.

The theme of this year’s season is based on Viktor Frankl’s classic book “Man’s Search for Meaning.” Harbour Winn, director of the series, said the theme is intended to help participants come to understand the purpose of suffering.

“The films in this series stress the importance of an individual’s attitude to existence,” Winn said. “Even when life seems restricted by external forces, we can choose the attitude with which we live and make meaning, to find value.”

The screening will begin at 2:00PM at the Kerr McGee Auditorium in the Meinders School of Business at NW 27th Street and McKinley Ave. A discussion will follow the presentation for those who wish to stay. Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

ACCOLADES FOR THE LUNCHBOX

-“This warm and affectionate human comedy from India is charming in a delicate and unforced way.” LA Times

-“A humanist fable from India, the film is actually a romance in the classic tradition, a Brief Encounter transposed to the rhythms and flavors of modern-day Mumbai.” Boston Globe

-“Nicely captures the almost overwhelming crush and noise of contemporary India, and it plays cleverly and delicately with the tension of whether its two correspondents might eventually meet. Enormously warm and subtle.” NPR

-“A deft and charming first feature by Batra. A perfect balance of tact and sentimentality. The comedy is more wry than uproarious, the melodrama gently poignant rather than operatic, and the sentimentality just sweet enough to be satisfying rather than bothersome.” NY Times

UPCOMING FILMS

* Feb. 21, Asghar Farhadi’s About Elly 

* March 6, Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan