Love beyond the seas
I am not an authority on the art of film making. I just know what i feel after watching a movie. The Japanese wife is a film that is difficult to categorize as good,bad or best. The film is not a marvel from Aparna Sen’s kitty neither is it a film worth forgetting. You might love it or hate it but cannot ignore it.
Based on Kunal Basu’s short story by the same name, Japanese wife is a tale of two pen-pals who decide to be mates for life. But the obligations towards respective families keep them in their own homelands. And they never meet. It is also the story of the budding love between two strangers who share the same house. Tied by fate, they become friends in the long run and eventually an undercurrent of love flows between them.
The pace of the movie is a bit slow. But it does not bother you as you flow with the tides. The slow pace is symbolic of the slow life in the Sunderbans, for me. The reaction of the village kids upon the arrival of the Box from japan is testimony of my feeling.
The use of colors in the film is brilliant. Each scene has been created like a painting fresh from the canvas. The sheer craftmanship of the camera is laudable. Sunderban never looked so beautiful.
The actors are masters in their fields. Rahul Bose gives a steller performance which could qualify as his career best. Raima Sen with her poignant silence looks so dignified as the widow. Mausumi Chatterjee as Mashi is “awesome”.
A major setback of the film is dubbing. Rudranil Ghosh dubbed specific portions of Rahul which was not soothing to the ears. Raima’s diction frequented between the “kolkata style” and “grammo” style which was annoying. The kid poltu’s voice was too “meyeli” (isnt he the kid from Dosor?)
The music of the film had a japanese theme. But it blended so well with the bengali backdrop!
In conclusion, the film raises a question: Does love survive in a long distance relationship? In an age where people are accustomed to jet speed, the slow pace of the movie really takes you back by ages. The simple times where even electricity was a luxury. Platonic relation, not just between Snehamoy and his wife but also the tacit romance between him and Sandhya, is it relevant today?
I feel yes. And that is why the film touches my heart. It may not be a gem but it is genuine. And straight from the heart. That is where Aparna Sen scores.
[P.S. I would not dare to rate Aparna Sen’s movie. But since it’s a formality i rate it a 4 out of 5]