Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway trailer was released earlier today which is also one of the most eagerly-awaited movies of the year. The trailer launch has brought back focus on a decade-old case that an Indian couple fought in Norway to get back the custody of their two children.
The case, where the child welfare authority of Norway took custody of Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya’s two children, shocked the entire world about Norway’s strict policies related to child-rearing.
The authorities objected to the fact that she fed them by hand, which they felt was force-feeding. The two were also accused of providing their kids ‘unsuitable’ clothes and failing to give them enough room to play. This also led to a diplomatic row between India and Norway. The film features Rani Mukerji as the lead and marks Bengali actor Anirban Bhattacharya’s debut in Bollywood. The film also features Jim Sarbh and Neena Gupta in key roles.
In 2007, Sagarika married geophysicist Anurup Bhattacharya and moved to Norway to start their new life together. Avigyan reportedly developed ‘autism-like’ symptoms in his early years and was placed in a family kindergarten near the family’s home.
As his condition worsened, Sagarika had conceived her second child, Aishwarya, making it harder for her to provide complete attention to Abhigyan. The family was reportedly under watch for months by the child welfare service and in May 2011, the authorities took away the couple’s children under the pretext of bad parenting.
Commonly known as Barnevernet in Norway, the body is the public organization responsible for child protection in the country. The Child Welfare Services is responsible for implementing measures for children and their families in situations where there are special needs in relation to the home environment.
The Child welfare service of Norway was severely criticized by the Government of India for taking the children away from their parents. After a diplomatic row between the two countries, the Norwegian authorities decided to award the custody of the children to their father’s brother, enabling him to bring them back to India.
However, Sagarika’s worries were not over as she was not on good terms with her husband by then. Sagarika had to undergo another round of legal battle, this time in India, to get custody of her children. She had alleged that her husband and her in-laws had falsely accused her of being mentally unstable and hence unfit to take care of the two children.
She went ahead and filed a petition with West Bengal’s Burdwan Child Welfare Committee to have the children transferred to her care, alleging that her in-laws had been reluctant to let her near the children and that they were not being looked after. In 2013, Sagarika was granted custody of her children by the court.
Directed by Ashima Chibber, Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway will be released in theaters on March 17. The film marks the return of Rani Mukherjee to the silver screen in a powerful role alongside bollywood debut of Anirban Bhattacharya. It also stars Jim Sarbh and Neena Gupta in pivotal roles.