Mrs. Chatterjee vs Norway (2023): Hindu-phobia and a Mother’s Dignity | Movie Review


Mrs. Chatterjee vs Norway is a 2023 Indian movie, directed by Anurag Kashyap and stars Rani Mukerji. The film is based on the real-life story of Sagarika Chakraborty, whose children were forcefully taken away by Norwegian Child Welfare Services in 2011. It follows the story of Debika Chatterjee’s personal fight against the Norwegian Government to get back custody of her children. Rani Mukerji delivers a powerful performance as Mrs. Chatterjee.

The film is well-crafted and emotionally powerful, with stunning cinematography, and a tearful soundtrack that creates an even deeper connection to the characters and their struggles. It is a stressful but uplifting story that celebrates the power of resilience and persistence, that is sure to leave audiences, particularly mothers, feeling inspired.

Through her eyes, we are able to see the challenges that many immigrants face in trying to make a home in a new country, and the courage and strength required to fight for one’s dignity and basic human rights.

Mrs. Chatterjee (Rani Mukerji) with her two children

Mrs. Chatterjee vs Norway is a principally sound movie that is sure to stay with viewers, long after it has concluded. Namrata Rao’s editing and screenplay maintains a steady, serious tone needed for such a traumatic presentation. The direction and script-writing by Ashima Chibber shines above most modern Indian films to date.

With an emphasis on the strength of a mother’s love for her children, the film’s iconic presentation of never giving up when faced with racism, bigotry (Hindu-phobia) and targeted bullying from a powerful, hegemonic oppressor is truly inspiring.

Rani Mukerji should be acknowledged and congratulated for her unexpectedly raw and natural performance, that will leave viewers in a collective state of thought. Given the current international landscape of misguided political priorities (eg. Australia’s Nazi problem), this is a must-see for anyone who feels the need for a reminder on the values of a civilised and globalised democratic society.

A powerful film that highlights the emotional turmoil that a mother goes through when her children are taken away by the state. However, it has been criticised for being too melodramatic as it appeals to the global Indian diaspora by combining themes of a mother’s struggles with a healthy dose of nationalism and cultural patriotism. It should be noted that when an Indian movie is down-voted, it is an indication of a mature, thought-provoking film with high-intellect and context (eg. Prithviraj).

Overall, the film is a must watch for Rani Mukerji’s performance and the highlighting of the larger issue of child welfare services in Norway. Congratulations to the Director and the Actors for the courage to present this meaningful true story to the world.

To all Hindu Mothers, thank you for your resilience.

Rating: 9/10

Now streaming on Netflix.

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