Monday, June 30, 2014

This Week’s DVD Releases

The Lunchbox **** Directed by Ritesh Batra. When Mumbai’s eerily reliable lunchbox delivery service erroneously sends a meal prepared by a young housewife to a lonely widower on the brink of retirement, the mistake ignites an exchange of notes and mutual fantasy between them. This is a first feature for Batra, but it 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. Theirs is one "virtual" romance that has nothing to do with social media.

Like Father, Like Son ***½ Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. When a successful businessman learns that his 6-year-old son was switched at birth with another child, he and his wife must decide whether to seek out their biological son or choose the boy they’ve been raising. Despite the film’s emphasis on the father’s transformation, the most piercing moment for me came in the scene in which his wife anguishes over her guilt in not realizing right away, as a mother, that the boy she was raising was not her birth son.

The Unknown Known ***½ Directed by Errol Morris. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld discusses his career in Washington, D.C., from his days as a congressman in the early 1960s to planning the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Over the course of 106 minutes, Rumsfeld’s rambling assertions grow exhausting, particularly because Morris never manages to direct them toward a larger argument.

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