The Japanese Wife
Usually the offbeat and serious movies get critical acclaim in the film festival circuits only while most of the people are completely clueless about their existence. Thanks to @konkonas ‘ tweets, I somewhat knew about this offbeat movie set in the remote village of Bengal.
The Japanese Wife is the story of a village school teacher Snehmoy and his Japanese pen friend Miyagi. The two exchange marriage vows through letters and thus begins their strong relationship without meeting each other in person. Their relationship proves unshaken by the entry of a widow (Sandhya) and her son (Paltu) in Snehmoy’s life.
While watching that movie I had sensed that it was based on a short story such as Amal was. The Japanese Wife is a short story collection by Kunal Basu. The book had come out in 2008. Now the problem with The Japanese Wife is that such stories look great on paper. No matter how beautifully you shot them on celluloid, how sound the screenplay is, it still leaves chinks here and there and you fail to assimilate it.
My problem was with the main theme of the story. The story is set in 1980s when the concept of pen friendship sounded as interesting as internet friendship is today but one can’t digest the fact of exchanging marital vows through letters. It sounds deviant and bizarre.
Rahul Bose as Snehmoy was a treat to watch. The Japanese actor looked cute and acted well.
I respect Aparna Sen (the director of the movie) for her unforgettable work Mr. and Mrs. Iyer but her latest offering was a complete let down for me. I can’t pick out any technical shortcomings. The acting department was flawless. I can’t entirely blame the story itself. It is just that some stories presented on celluloid miserably fail to connect with you.