Nothing new needs to be said about Aparna Sen or her films. Her films have always been so different in nature because of the content.’ The Japanese Wife’ her latest film is based on Kunal Basu’s novel by the same name.To make such a film on such a subject needs a certain amount of thought because it is indeed a very unusual tragic love story which if one looks at it from a story point of view is quite negative and will require real
compelling performances to make it worth watching.
Snehamoy, a teacher in remote Gosaba, South 24 Parganas who stays with his aunt finds his soul mate in Miyage, a Japanese girl who is his penfriend. They share all their joys, sorrow and everything that takes place in their life together. When Sandhya, his Mashi’s god child is brought before him for him to choose her as a bride, a letter arrives from Miyage where she offers herself to him as a bride. He accepts her as a bride and fifteen years pass, yet they do not meet. One Day Sandhya, now a widow comes to stay with her son, Paltu who becomes very attached to Snehamoy. Sandhya doesn’t cross his path, but takes over the reins of the house. On one particular occasion there is a hint of attraction between both of them, but that is not allowed to proceed simply for the fact that Snehamoy remains deeply attached to Miyage. When She falls seriously sick, he tries his best to do whatever he can from here including sending some medicines and herbs across to her. One day when he comes back from Kolkata after visiting an oncologist, there is a fierce storm. He gets pneumonia and falls very sick. His condition becomes worse day by day and one day he passes away without having Miyage’s letter which had arrived after the storm which said that she was arriving in Kolkata since she was a little better. She arrives at his place only to find that he has passes away.
It is indeed a beautiful film which transports us to a different world. It shows us how everlasting and great love can be despite cultural and spatial distances. It is a beautiful yet tragic love story of two people from two different cultures who even find love in an alien language-English which is uncommon for both of them. Yet it is this tangible quality called love which keeps them apart yet together for more than fifteen years without ever having met each other yet practically sharing every moment of their life together.
Not one character looks out of place and every character plays his/her role perfectly. The set design, the locations and the cinematography is excellent. The vocals (mostly background sung by Japanese singers) suit the mood.
Rahul Bose as Snehamoy, the village teacher with a very different look is excellent. Chigusa Takaku as Miyage is sweet and you feel for her after the film is over. Raima as Sandhya, the shy widow is good as is Sagnik Choudhury as Paltu. The real revelation of this film is Moushumi Chatterjee as Mashi. Moushumi who was never known to be much of an actress and was known as a roly-poly actress simply shocks you with her performance as it is her performance of her life time and you simply need to see that it is really her whom we saw on the screen. Kunal Basu the author of ‘The Japanese Wife’ also appears in a scene.
For more, just watch ‘The Japanese Wife’and Moushumi’s performance in the film!