Mrs Chatterjee vs. Norway: Movie Review, Real Story and Controversy Explained

After a very long absence, Rani Mukerji made a powerfully moving comeback with Mrs Chatterjee vs. Norway, an emotional drama about a real-life woman who battled Norway’s entire judicial system and government to get back her children. Mrs Chatterjee vs. Norway, a true story that premiered in theatres on March 17, 2023, has already received praise for Rani’s outstanding performance and its compelling emotional storyline.

Mrs Chatterjee Vs. Norway Movie Review

This film is based on the true story of an Indian immigrant mother who battled Norway as a whole to acquire custody of her own children. Sagarika Chakraborty is the woman who inspired the story. In her memoirs “The Journey of a Mother,” which was released in 2022, she describes her own legal ordeal. All Indians were talking about Sagarika once it made headlines in 2012. She fought against the Norwegian government and the whole country to regain custody of her own kids. Even a diplomatic dispute between India and Norway was sparked by the entire situation.

The movie is a portrayal of the determination of a mother and the courage that she could have when it comes to the safety of her kids. It is all about a lady grappling with motherhood when the Norwegian childcare services became callous and contempt her for pursuing foul parenthood, according to them. As per the Norwegian government, she is deemed unfit for the upbringing of her kids.

Common Indian practices like feeding your child with hands, putting a kajal spot on the forehead, eating with hands, and sleeping in the same bed with the child… are taken as bad parenting behaviours. All these reasons are more than enough as per the Norwegian government to separate the kids from their parents.

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Debika becomes reckless straight from the moment her kids are snatched away from her. Strongly handling the situations, she relentlessly vows to use any means necessary to rescue her children from their custody. With Rani Mukherjee as the lead actress, the director has done full justice to this real-life story. Other support actors like Jim Sarbh portraying the role of the lawyer of Indian origin, equally supported the essence of the plot. His restrained acting captures the attention and makes every viewer believe the arguments that he gave.

The film is packed with motherhood emotions, drama, true Indian ethos, crowd-pleasing dialogue, and stereotypes.

Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway Real Story

In 2007, Sagarika Chakraborty and her geophysicist husband Anurup Bhattacharya relocated to Norway. The couple’s first kid, Abhigyaan, was born in 2008 and later had autistic traits. Aishwarya was born in 2010 to Sagarika.

Abhigyaan and Aishwarya were taken away in 2011 to be kept in a foster home by the Norwegian Child Welfare Services, known as the Barnevernet (another name for child protection).

The Norwegian authorities observed the couple and determined that they were unfit to be parents.

The Norwegian government claimed that “Mrs Chatterjee” forcefully fed her children and follow poor parenting practices by feeding them with her hands. The Barnevernet, who was keeping an eye on the household, claimed that the parents hit the children, which is considered corporal punishment.

The shocking part was that, while these behaviours would appear commonplace to Indians, the Norwegian government has rigorous kid protection regulations. The Norwegian government did not reconsider applying it to an Indian marriage notwithstanding the cultural disparity between the two nations. The custody case and battle put an adverse impact on “Mrs Chatterjee’s” marriage.

Instead of handing custody to the true parents in 2012, the Norwegian government gave it to the children’s uncle and grandfather who lived in Kulti, close to Asansol. Following this, Sagarika requested custody of her children from the Burdwan Child Welfare Committee, which granted her request but did not have the police execute the decision. Sagarika should have custody of her children, Judge Dipankar Dutta ruled in January 2013, and the uncle and grandfather were granted visitation rights.

Sagarika Bhattacharya sobbed as she left the “Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway” movie screening. Sagarika declares, “I don’t know if I am a good mother or a bad mother, but I am a mother,” in a video posted by the creators. For her children, a mother will do anything. Rani mam thank you, aapnetohmeradil jeet liya (Rani Mukerji has won my heart). I’m overjoyed. She claimed that the movie had validated her true-life account.

Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway Controversy

The film’s representation of the subject infuriated Norway’s ambassador to India, Hans Jacob Frydenlund, who criticized the film’s producers and actors, stating that they had poorly interpreted the actual situation and that it presented a “totally incorrect” narrative of his nation.

In an op-ed, Hans Jacob Frydenlund wrote, “It is important for me to present the official Norwegian perspective and correct factual inaccuracies, that this film unfortunately portrays. The film projects cultural differences as the primary factor in the case, which is completely false. Without going into any details of this case, I categorically deny that feeding with hands and sleeping in the same bed would be the reason for placing children in alternative care. Not in this case and not in any case.”

The Norwegian ambassador further concluded, “I sincerely hope this movie will not discourage Indians from coming to Norway. I hope this film will be seen for what it is, and I trust the viewers to understand that this is a fictional representation. For those involved, there is no denying that the experience was traumatic.”