Connect with us

Bollywood Movie Reviews

Rani Mukerji Is A Force Of Nature In Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway



Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway

Mrs  Chatterjee Vs  Norway

Directed  by  Ashima Chibber

Rating: ****

Why wait for  the end of the year?  Just give  all  the  awards  to Rani Mukerji  for her  sinewy performance as a hyper Bengali  mother  battling the  government of  Norway  for the right to  her own children.

There! I said it.Sounds  so  ridiculous: a mother being deprived  for the  right to her own children. But it all happened , and not so long ago when Sagarika Bhattacharya and her husband’s  kids were taken away.

This is what  happens when eager NRIs don’t read  the fine print before  migrating. Rani Mukerji, here rechristened  Debika Chatterjee,  fights tooth and nail to get back her children. Not much support from her  stiff-lipped  husband (Anirban  Bhattacharya) . In the process of  battling bureaucracy almost singlehandedly Debika  encounters  all sorts of conspiracies   and schemers.

In fact the two Norwegian women who barge  into her  home and  whisk away her children have a distinctly witch-like demeanour.Luckily Ashima Chibber  in  her sophomore film , doesn’t fall prey to the stereotypes of the distressed-mother  genre. Rani Mukerji makes  sure of that.She brings an implosive  emotional velocity  to her  character. We know  straightaway that this  woman won’t let her children  go, not without a ferocious battle. And not even after that.

The  film has a deceptively  gleaming  surface  suggesting  a well-ordered  NRI’s  affluence. Rani  plays  the messy housewife  with such vigour ,we  completely read  into her maternal  intensity . I really don’t know how much of  the  storytelling is fictionalized.  But I suspect some  of the situations have been  exaggerated, but with the  right intentions,  and intensity.

After  all when life deals  you such a lowbrow  it is  impossible to abide by  ideas of civil conduct. Rani gets  it. So do we. She is in marvellous  form here, channeling the mother within her to manifest the  screen mother’s trauma.

Luckily Rani gets some solid support from her co-actors,  though I wish  her husband(Anirban Bhattacharya)  and in-laws were  not shown to be uni-dimensionally villainish.(Contrary  argument:  they are shown  that way,because they were blatantly  evil).  Jim Sarbh  as  a Norwegian lawyer  tasked  with proving  Debika  an unfit mother when in his heart believes it to be untrue, walks the  fine balance between a stiflingly grey and reformative character  with  much grace. The other  performance that  I liked was Barun  Chanda as the  Judge in Kolkata who finally gives the  mother her children  back.

Some of the episodes, like Rani’s  climactic  monologue in the courtroom, can be seen coming from miles away. But  we don’t mind being emotionally  inveigled just this once.It is a bizarre story told with grace and restraint. It makes you worry about the  civil rights of  NRIs  in foreign  countries, and  for Indian tourism in Norway.


Continue Reading