Bengali Film Review: The Japanese Wife (Collector's Edition DVD with 6 Photos & Free Audio CD)

By Aditya Chakraborty

Calcutta, April 30, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) 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.

The Japanese Wife Collector's DVD Edition with Free Music CD & Pictures
The Japanese Wife Collector's DVD Edition with Free Music CD & Pictures

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 passed 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.

The Japanese Wife (2010)
Country: India
Language: English, Bengali
Year: 2010
Category: Feature Film
Genre: Drama

637 letters, 4 Phone calls, 17 Years of Marriage, But they have not met. How far will you go for love?

The Japanese Wife is a film revolving around Snehmoy (Rahul Bose) and Miyage (Chigusa Takaku) who are pen friends who exchange wedding vows through letters.

Fifteen years pass but they never meet. Yet the bond of marriage is strong between them. This unusual relationship comes under a cloud when a young widow, Sandhya (Raima Sen), comes to stay with Snehmoy along with her eight-year-old son (Shagnik Choudhury). Snehmoy and the little boy bond and the arithmetic teacher discovers the joy of palpable bonds and fatherhood. There develops an inexplicable thread of understanding with Sandhya too.

The Japanese Wife is an unusual story of a love that endures across continents and cultures.

Cast: Rahul Bose, Raima Sen, Chigusa Takaku, Moushmi Chatterjee, Rudranil Ghosh
Director: Aparna Sen
Music Director: Sagar Desai
Format: DVD
Label: Saregama
Catalog No: D 10037
DVD Region: All Region
No Of Disks: 1
Subtitles: English

Making of the Film

Included Free
6 Photos
Audio CD