Interview | Director of ITI MRINALINI (Bengali, 2011) APARNA SEN Talks About "The Japanese Wife"


The Japanese Wife: Theatrical Trailer

World-renowned actress-director Aparna Sen is about to release her eagerly awaited Bengali movie Iti Mrinalini (Bengali, 2011).

Aparna Sen's The Japanese Wife Movie PosterDevasish Ray, Director, Databazaar Media Ventures (www.databazaarmedia.com) talks to Ms. Aparna Sen, internationally acclaimed film-maker and director of The Japanese Wife. This telephone interview was broadcast live on Washington Bangla Radio at 7 AM Eastern US time on April 8, 2010. For enquiries regarding Databazaar Media Ventures, Devashis Ray may be contacted at dray@databazaarmedia.com.

Technical aspects of this interview involving international phone conference and digital audio stream feed for live internet web-cast were handled by Biplob Pal of Vinnomat News Network (www.vnnbangla.com) and the WBRi team (www.WashingtonBanglaRadio.com).

The Japanese Wife was released in theaters across India on April 9, 2010.

North American (USA, Canada) DVD Release:

Written by Kunal Basu (buy the book online), produced by Saregama, edited by Rabiranjan Maitra, music by Sagar Desai, camera by Anay Goswamy, the film's star cast includes Rahul Bose, Chigusa Takaku (Kurianesu), Raima Sen, and Moushumi Chatterjee. In Bengali-English-Japanese-Hindi, it was filmed in Kolkata and Sunderbans in India and Yokohama, Tsukuba and Ibaraki in Japan. Takaku reportedly did not know any English and the crew had to talk to her through an interpreter on the sets. Its tag-line is “A love poem”.

Databazaar Media Ventures (www.databazaarmedia.com), the media arm of Databazaar.com, the leading internet retailer of printer consumables globally, acquired the film from Saregama India Limited, the producers of The Japanese Wife.Expressing satisfaction over this acquisition, Ms. Aparna Sen said, "This is truly a historic occasion. The Indian Diaspora living in the US and Canada will now be able to watch my film as DMV will make The Japanese wife available through about 19,000 retail outlets, including Netflix, Amazon, ITunes, Blockbuster and others."

Listen to the complete audio interview broadcast from our archives on-demand online by pressing the Play button in the player below. Note: Please excuse the recording-machine noise for a few seconds around five minutes into the audio recording below.

Excerpts of the interview:

Devasish Ray: The Japanese Wife is very different from your previous films. What were the cinematic adjustments you had to make to maintain the narrative of this film ?

Aparna Sen: The challenge in front of me was that I wanted to make a film that would be reminiscent of a Japanese water-colour in it's minimalism and poignancy.

Devasish Ray: Your male protagonist Snehamoy played brilliantly by Rahul Bose. His character is surreal - how convinced were you of the author's etching of this almost unbelievable character ?

Aparna Sen: [In the case of this film] One is not looking for everyday realism. The character is not surreal - the innocense of the story is improbable enough to be surreal. The character of Snehomoy is just of a very shy reclusive person - a quintessential little man living a humdrum life. He has this one very extraordinary element in his life - that is he marries a Japanese woman who he never met. The story is hilarious, absurd and charming, and that's the reason why I wanted to make [a film on] it.

Devasish Ray: It's kind of a bizarre situation, isn't it ?

Aparna Sen: I am a little bit bored now of this mundane everyday reality that we are constantly depicting [in films] middle class people - I am just tired of that now.

Devasish Ray: Talking about casting of the film, in my opinion, Moushumi Chatterjee has made a stunning comeback. Was she your first choice ?

Aparna Sen: Actually I was considering other people before Moushumi came to me, and when she did, I dropped everybody else. I think my collaborator Sohag Sen asked me if I would like to consider Moushumi, and suddenly the role fell into place and I said "oh absolutely Moushumi is the right person."

The fascinating conversation with Ms Sen continues - do listen to it by pressing the play button on the player at top.