After Norwegian ambassador to India Hans Jacob Frydenlund’s less than favourable review of Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway, the film’s team has reacted. Producer Nikkhil Advani took to Twitter to share what actually happened at the screening where Frydenlund was invited. He said that the ambassador ‘admonished’ two women after the show. It is not known if the ‘women’ mentioned includes director Ashima Chibber. (Also read: Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway review: Rani Mukerji’s heartbreaking legal drama suffers a flawed execution)
Taking to Twitter, Nikkhil wrote, “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. As far as a clarification is concerned. Video Attached.”
The attached video in his tweet featured Sagarika Chkraborty, on whose life the film is based. She said in the video that the ambassador spoke about her case ‘without having any decency’ to speak with her first. She added that the Norwegian government ‘continues to spread lies’ about her. Nikkhil also attached a picture of the ambassador with the film’s team from the screening.
In his op-ed for Indian Express, the ambassador wrote that Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway has ‘factual inaccuracies’ and the story is a ‘fictional representation of the case’. He also said that in the film cultural differences has been shown as the primary factor in the case, which is ‘completely false’. Hans also ‘categorically’ denied that ‘feeding with hands and sleeping in the same bed would be the reason for placing in alternative care’. He hoped that the film will not discourage Indian from going and settling in Norway.
In the film, Rani Mukerji essays the role of a mother battling the state for her kids. The film is based on Sagarika Chakaraborty’s book The Journey of a Mother. Helmed by Ashima Chibber, Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway also stars Neena Gupta, Jim Sarbh and Anirban Bhattacharya among others. The film hit the theatres on Friday.