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The true story of Rani Mukerji’s film ‘Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway’ will leave you stunned

Rani Mukerji’s latest film Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway trailer released a few days back and has since then been a subject of interest to the audience. Releasing in theatres on 17 March, Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway documents the true story of a couple whose world turned upside down after their children were taken away from them in a foreign land. Rani Mukerji brings out an empathetic character like Mrs Chatterjee, and broaches upon the topic of childcare, how different cultures led to this alarming incident and more precisely in this film.

This true story is like no other. Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway speaks of a mother’s resilience who fought tooth and nail with authorities at large to safeguard and reunite with her children.

Mrs Chatterjee (Rani Mukerji) is a character inspired by a real-life woman named Sagarika Bhattacharya. The film is based on Sagarika’s autobiography, “The Journey of a Mother” which was published in 2022.

Sagarika moved to Norway with her husband Anurup Bhattacharya in 2007 as the latter got a job there as a geophysicist. Sagarika welcomed two kids with Anurup Bhattacharya thereafter – a son Abhigyaan and a daughter, Aishwarya. It was after the two kids were born that tragedy struck the Bhattacharya household.

In 2011, the Norwegian Child Welfare Services took the couple’s children from them stating ‘incompetent parenting’. Apparently, the Norwegian Child Welfare Services kept a strict watch on the couple after Bhattacharya’s children were born. According to the organisation, the couple indulged in things that amounted to child abuse. They went on to level allegations as strong as that Sagarika was mentally unwell and hence was unable to take care of her kids.

What led them to believe that? Well, the couple just like any Indian parent slept in the same bed as their children, handfed them, and indulged in practices customary to Hindu traditions and rituals. Practices as such were alien to Norwegian culture and thus the Children Welfare Services took custody of the children.

Conspicuously, Norway does have particularly stringent laws regarding children and their upbringing. These laws are universal and are followed irrespective of cultural differences.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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