Rani Mukerji’s new movie Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway is currently making waves in Indian cinema, with the actor’s performance being lauded for portraying an Indian mother who had her children taken away from her by Child Services in Norway.
The movie is based on a true story, surrounding the life of an Indian family living in Norway. The children of the family get taken away by the authorities for several childcare reasons, after which Rani Mukerji’s character takes the matter to court.
While Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway is getting critical acclaim in India, the premise of the movie did not sit well with the government of Norway for its portrayal and its strict child protection laws, sparking a controversy in the country.
What is the Mrs. Chatterjee vs Norway controversy?
After the release of Rani Mukerji starrer Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway, a stern statement was issued by Norwegian Ambassador to India Hans Jacob Frydenlund, who had attended a special screening of the movie recently.
The screening of the movie did not sit well with the Ambassador, who further said that Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway “incorrectly depicts Norway’s beliefs”. He further reiterated that child welfare in the country is “not motivated by profits or payments”.
My Op-Ed in @IndianExpress today about the film #MrsChatterjeeVsNorway. It incorrectly depicts Norway’s belief in family life and our respect for different cultures. Child welfare is a matter of great responsibility, never motivated by payments or profit. #Norwaycares pic.twitter.com/FpVWmdLv5h
— Ambassador Hans Jacob Frydenlund (@NorwayAmbIndia) March 17, 2023
The Norwegian Ambassador said in his statement, “Children will never be taken away from their families based on cultural differences described. Eating with their hands or having children sleeping in bed with their parents are not considered practices harmful to children and are not uncommon in Norway, irrespective of cultural background.”
After his statement, the real-life ‘Mrs Chatterjee’ Sagarika Chakraborty posted a statement condemning the statement of the Norwegian Ambassador.
Sagarika said on social media, “I condemn the false statement by the Norwegian ambassador in the papers today. He spoke about my case without even having any decency to ask me.”
Apart from this, Indian director Nikhil Advani took the stand for Sagarika Chakraborty and actress Rani Mukerji, saying that the embassy “admonished two strong women who have chosen to tell this story.”
“Atithi Devo Bhava! is a cultural mandate in India. Every Indian is taught that by our elders. Last evening we hosted the Norwegian Ambassador and volunteered to show him our film Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway. Post the screening, I sat quietly watching him admonish two strong women who have chosen to tell this very important story. I was quiet because just like Sagarika Chakraborty, they don’t need me to fight for them and ‘culturally’ we do not insult our guests,” he said.
READ | Norway’s Ambassador slams Rani Mukerji’s Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway for ‘completely false’ depiction of his country
Originally published at www.dnaindia.com