April 20, 2024

Mrs. Chatterjee Vs Norway Review {3.0/5} & Review Rating

MRS CHATTERJEE VS NORWAY is the story of a mother fighting against a foreign government. Debika Chatterjee (Rani Mukherji) stays in Stavanger, Norway with her husband Anirudh (Anirban Bhattacharya), elder son Shubh (Yuvaan Vanvari) and five months old daughter Shuchi. Sia (Kärt Tammjärv) and Matilda (Britta Soll) of Velfred, a child welfare service, hired by the Norwegian government, have been visiting the Chatterjee’s on a daily basis to monitor how the couple is raising their child. During the last review meeting, Sia and Matilda snatch Shubh and Shuchi and run away. The Chatterjee’s are shocked and they are told that they can’t hold custody of their child as they are unfit to do so. Velfred lists multiple reasons for it. They also hire a lawyer for Chatterjee’s, Sunil Kapoor (Namit). The lawyer passionately fights for them. He argues that some of the so-called flawed parenting techniques listed out by Velfred like feeding a child by the hand, parents sleeping with children etc are Indian cultural practices and can’t be termed faulty. The Chatterjee’s win the case. Yet, the government on a strange pretext doesn’t allow custody. The case now goes to the High Court where Chatterjee’s lawyer is Daniel Singh Ciupek (Jim Sarbh). The case is already shaky for Chaterjee’s. On top of it, Debika’s uncontrollable behaviour, stemming from being forced away from her children, weakens their case even more. Debika has a reservation about Daniel as she feels that he’s a government-appointed lawyer and hence, he can cheat them. Anirudh, however, doesn’t pay heed. He’s concerned about getting Norwegian citizenship and doesn’t want to rub the government the wrong way. Also, he is not ready to shell out money to appoint a private lawyer. Meanwhile, Debika finds out shocking truths regarding the child custody system in Norway that prompts her to take a significant step. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Mrs. Chatterjee Vs Norway

Sameer Satija, Ashima Chibber and Rahul Handa’s story is unusual. Viewers will be astonished to know that the film is inspired by a true incident. Sameer Satija, Ashima Chibber and Rahul Handa’s screenplay are effective as the writers have infused the narrative with some very emotional and hard-hitting moments. The film does falter in some places though. Sameer Satija, Ashima Chibber and Rahul Handa’s dialogues pack a punch though the minimal use of Hindi can be a deterrent for some viewers.

Ashima Chibber’s direction is fine. It’s difficult to imagine that the director who made a light-hearted film like MERE DAD KI MARUTI [2013] has made this hard-hitting fare. She packs in a lot in 130 minutes and one can’t help but root for Debika, even though she takes some extreme steps in between. The way Ashima has shown the pain of the mother is sure to make the eyes of the viewers moist. In fact, a few scenes can make for a difficult watch for some audiences. However, it’s because of those scenes that the impact of the film is manifold.

On the flipside, the film drags and should have been 100 minutes long at best. Secondly, the whole social media angle is sudden. When and how was Debika’s picture posted on the internet is not explained. Thirdly, this film is not a simple courtroom drama. The case shown is a complicated one and moves from one court to another with a few technicalities thrown in. Though Ashima Chibber has tried her best to keep the narrative simple, some audiences might get confused. Fourthly, Debika creating a ruckus everytime is a bit too much, especially when she knows that it is weakening her case. Agreed that a mother might go hysterical if separated from her child. But then Debika should also realize that with her behaviour, she risks losing access to her child forever. Lastly, the use of too much English and Bengali might not be acceptable to those who don’t like relying on subtitles while watching a film.

MRS CHATTERJEE VS NORWAY starts on a shocking note. The flashback showing what happens in the previous 24 hours is intriguing. Also, viewers come to know that all is not well between Debika and Anirudh and it adds to the madness. The scene where Debika is allowed to meet her children just for a few minutes is moving. The High Court scene is arresting and also the scene where Debika starts consuming food using a fork and spoon to adjust to the ways of Norway. The intermission point is unexpected. Post-interval, Debika appealing to Vasudha Kamat (Neena Gupta) is memorable. But it’s the last 30 minutes in the Kolkata court and Anirudh’s Bardhaman residence which is the best part of the film. The film ends on a justified note.

Mrs. Chatterjee Vs Norway | Official Trailer | Rani Mukerji

Rani Mukerji delivers her career-best performance, without a shred of doubt. The actress has given her heart and soul to the role and looks natural. Debika is over-the-top while displaying her emotions and Rani pulls this bit off flawlessly. Anirban Bhattacharya is apt for his part. Jim Sarbh is fine in a supporting role. Barun Chanda (Judge Abhijeet Dutta) and Balaji Gauri (advocate Pratap) leave a huge mark. Kärt Tammjärv and Britta Soll overact a bit. Namit, Soumya Mukherjee (Anirudh’s brother Anurag), Charu Shankar (Nandini), Varun Vazir (Biswajeet Sarkar), Roopangi Vanvari (Rabia), Sara Soulié (Berit Hansen, teacher at Velfred) and Mithu Chakrabarty (Anirudh’s mother) are decent. Neena Gupta is lovely in the cameo.

Amit Trivedi’s is forgettable although it’s well-woven into the narrative. ‘Shubho Shubho’ and ‘Maa Ke Dil Se’ work as they are played in the background. ‘Aami Jaani Re’ is played in the end credits. Hitesh Sonik’s background score adds to the tension and exhilaration. Alvar Kõue’s cinematography is neat and the locales of Estonia are well captured. Priya Suhas’ production design is rich. Sheetal Sharma’s costumes are straight out of life. Namrata Rao’s editing could have been slicker.

On the whole, MRS CHATTERJEE VS NORWAY is a hard-hitting drama and is laced with the career-best performance of Rani Mukerji.

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