Saturday 17 April 2010

The Japanese Wife [2010]

Aparna Sen’s Japanese Wife, based on the novel of the same name by Kunal Basu, is the most offbeat love triangle one can hope to come across. Snehamoy is a “chhaposha” (simple, average, middle/lower middle-class) Bengali school teacher at the Sundarbans, while Miyage is a shy Japanese girl residing in Yokohama, who, through pen-friendship, end up having a 17-year long platonic relationship and marriage despite never getting to see each other in person. The third angle is a young widow who silently loves Snehamoy, who in turn gets subtly attracted to her physically. The movie is, lets face it, is based on an improbable premise, and the emotional impact is not as much as a movie such as this ought to have. But the acting of Rahul Bose as the soft-spoken teacher, Moushumi Chatterjee as his loquacious aunt, and especially Raima Sen as the young widow, are pitch-perfect, which in turn get amply complemented by the impressive photography – the tranquility and fury of the region and the river Matla have been very well captured. The standout moment in the movie – the kite-flying competition between Bengali and Japanese kites; the overhead shots of the soaring kites took the film to a different plane altogether at times (no puns intended).

Director: Aparna Sen
Genre: Drama/Rural Drama/Romance
Language: Bengali/English
Country: India

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