Happy Birthday Irrfan Khan! What is Your Best Romance of the Decade, Lunchbox or Qarrib Qarrib Singlle or Piku?

A challenge for us all! Especially challenging since I haven’t seen Lunchbox yet. And since all of Irrfan’s performances are automatically charming and wonderful so it is hard to pick between.


The film that first got Irrfan international attention, a love story through letters between him and a lonely housewife. Charming, real, beautiful (from what I have heard), but not a 100% romantic happy ending (from what I have heard). Best or Not?

Image result for lunchbox poster

Qarib Qarib Singlle

Irrfan’s character is irresistable, the tone is that perfect rom-com lightness, the romance starts out seeming impossible and then sweeps you away. But the ending, while happy, stumbles a bit in various ways. Best or Not?

Image result for qarib qarib singlle


Again, Irrfan is irresistible. And the romance is pitch perfect, the start of jostling to know each other, moving into liking, and finally something like love. Problem is, the film isn’t 100% a “romance” so much as it is a character story about Deepika, Irrfan, and Amitabh. Best or Not?

Image result for piku irrfan

22 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Irrfan Khan! What is Your Best Romance of the Decade, Lunchbox or Qarrib Qarrib Singlle or Piku?

  1. My favorite Irrfan movie is Billu. The contrast between Irrfan’s quiet, understated character and Sharukh’s more flamboyant one is captivating. You believe that this oddly matched pair could really love each other, probably due to their similar generosity of spirit. (And the brouhaha over the film’s title never ceases to amaze.)


    • And arguably could be considered another “rom-com”! If we think of Irrfan and Shahrukh as the central couple.

      On Tue, Jan 7, 2020 at 2:41 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. This is tough, but I’ll have to go with Lunchbox. I always think Piku as more Deepika and Amitabh movie more as an Irrfan one. In The Lunchbox he is just so perfectly normal yet captivating. And I do recommend it! Just be prepared to either eat before or after the movie, because like Daawat e Ishq it will make you hungry.


      • Well, it’s a kinda mainstream Art House film, it’s sort of expected. But trust me, it’s more positive than negative, no tears or handkerchiefs or tragedy. I just don’t want to spoil anything since you haven’t seen it.


  3. I haven’t seen Lunchbox but my vote goes to Piku. Love his performance in that film, I think he grounds it – of the main trio he’s the most relatable and sympathetic. He adds so much humanity and texture with no showiness or big dramatic moments, and less of the actual dialogue than Amitabh or Deepika. You start out seeing him as humble and not in Deepika’s league, then over the course of the story his dignity and resilience and intelligence are revealed and he ends up as her only right fit. (Similar to Billu, that understated humor and strength is his sweet spot.)

    I liked Qarib Qarib Singlle but the character and set-up felt more gimmicky to me.


    • My biggest problem with Piku is that there just wasn’t enough Irrfan-Dips. I would happily watch a sequel just about them fighting their way to marriage. Can you imagine? His family being horrible and him passively accepting it, her family being horrible and her overreacting and snapping at them, and eventually the two of them go off to elope, before having second thoughts and coming back to face their family.

      On Tue, Jan 7, 2020 at 7:03 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  4. Man, I just love him and I hope he is staying healthy. My vote goes to Lunchbox, which has two romances: Irrfan-Nimrat and Irrfan-Nawazuddin. Both are affecting and real and help Irrfan grow into a better person. And I just love when a character grows into a better person!


    • But it doesn’t end with a wedding and babies! How can it truly be happy?

      On Tue, Jan 7, 2020 at 10:03 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  5. I haven’t seen lunchbox, but between Piku and QQS I vote Piku because the chemistry between the two actors was better. I didn’t actually finish watching QQS, I just wasn’t buying that these two people would actually be travelling together. Irrfan was adorable in it, but the female lead was not. I’ve watched Piku twice.


    • The last ten minutes of QQS don’t really work exactly, but the rest of it builds nicely. What I’m saying is, depending on when you turned it off, you might have missed the bits where they start to really make sense of their relationship.

      But I agree, purely based on how well the central romance is sold to the audience, Piku is better start to finish.

      On Tue, Jan 7, 2020 at 11:46 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • I considered including Karwaan, his romance is definitely the best part of that film, but it is such a small part.

      On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 1:56 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • They were a great pair, his laidback energy and her hyper energy. They needed to balance each other.

      On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 6:28 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  6. Margaret, you liked Photograph even though no wrong no babies. So I think you’ll also like Lunchbox, which ironically has a more deterministic ending than Photograph.

    Best rom com = QQS

    Best romance = Piku

    Best Imtiaz-Ali style “is it a romance, a character study, or coming of age story, or does each motivation affect the other” mix = Lunchbox


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