A highlight from Mrs. Chatterjee Vs Norway (Hindi) (2023) Movie Review
What's happening everybody, here and Ben back again. We've been in and out of the studio, so thank you for your patience. But, you know, we have lives and we want to go travel. Ben was just in Disney. Do you want to tell us a little bit about it? Yeah, we took our granddaughter, who is 9, we wanted her to get away from her younger sisters and have just a breather. It was a lot of fun. I was just telling Kira, I was playing the crane machine at the Disney arcade and I had won about 20 little stuffed animals and I was passing them out to people in the arcade. It was probably one of the nicest things I've ever seen someone do. People would come up to me and compliment me on it. Shout out to Lily, you're an amazing child. I think that is such a sweet, heartwarming story. I think it shows what a good person you're helping raise and be around and your influence. I think that's really beautiful. Speaking also of children, today we are covering the film Mrs. Chatterjee vs. Norway. This was a user suggestion, so thank you for recommending it to us. I had not seen this film, heard of it, or knew the true story that it is based on before it was introduced to me through this podcast. Ben, what about you? Yeah, I had never heard of it. It was suggested and I actually saw the backstory on it when I looked to see what it was about. It piqued my interest, so I threw it by you and I was like, this sounds like something that would be really interesting to cover. And here we are. And here we are. So, let's dive in. Obviously, it follows the story of Mrs. Chatterjee, who is an Indian woman who comes to live to Norway with her husband because he gets a job out there and he tells her, oh, we're going to live in Norway. We're going to start our family there. So, she follows him there. While they're there, they have two children. And something that I thought was weird was that the government just comes in and does these wellness checks on the kids. I don't know. That felt weird to me without school or any intervention. The processes felt weird to me. What did you think? Well, from what I understood, the coworker had them come in to watch them because the husband confronts him about it. And that's what I thought. I thought the coworker had mentioned something about some kind of abuse that he saw. And that's why it happened. Okay. So, I thought that that was abuse towards her. Okay. Well, that makes sense. And then the children would be under the abuse. Okay. I was a little confused, guys. My bad. So, they come in. They're watching the kids for what? It sounds like, what, like 10 weeks they watch the kids? And then in something that I felt completely unprofessional, they just basically kidnapped. They just take them. Yeah. I was watching it and all of a sudden, they just grabbed them and threw them in the car and took off. And she clings on to the car and goes flying off the car. And I'm like, oh, my God. What just happened? I'm like, this is – I mean, no notice, no nothing. I mean, I thought it was totally unprofessional. I don't know if that's how they do things in India. I mean, not India, no way. But it just totally blew my mind that they would just grab the child and run out the door like a criminal. Literally, like a criminal. And the fact that they were like so fake nice to her, like not even being like, hey, like maybe you should work on this and like change this or we're going to take your kid. They were just like so bent on taking the children that it felt like they never gave her a chance. They felt – it felt like they were just like doing whatever they needed to do to get these children into the government's custody. Yeah. At one point in the movie, they mentioned that, that like most of the children that were Indian heritage were being taken. And it was like under the rug. I don't know if this is true. I don't. This is the viewpoint of Mrs. Chatterjee and her biography. I don't – like I'm not trying to knock Norway. I don't know what happened in Norway. I'm not saying you're racist. I'm not saying you're child stealers. Nothing like that. I'm saying what I witnessed in the movie. Exactly. And this movie does not paint Norway in a good light, I will say. But to that point, this movie also is very one -sided. Obviously, it is. We're obviously going to be on the side of our protagonist, Mrs. Chatterjee. But at that same point, like I felt like they could have really dove into a lot of other aspects of it. I mean, the movie is a runtime of two and a half hours. And the most interesting parts I felt like we could have like had more of. Like the whole work that she does with the female leader when she like goes to the conference. I feel like we could have seen more of that work. We just kind of get in like a montage. I feel like the work that she – that when she has that secret meeting with the other woman about the video of your child. Like he's sad. He wants to come home. I thought we could have expanded on that. Instead, it was like a lot of, I don't know, none. It just felt very long in parts that it could have been shorter. Yeah, I agree. And looking into like I actually – since we've watched the movie, you have to delve into like what it says on the internet and what the facts are or like the facts stated. And from what I understood, there was proof of abuse by the husband and the brother -in -law against Mrs. Chatterjee. So I mean there was reasons for them to investigate. I get that. I mean I don't know why they did what they did by just taking the child and running. That seemed like really dramatic. And if that really happened, that's awful because no one wants to see their child just ripped out of their arms. I mean that's just terrible. And the stuff she went through, if all this is true, is just awful. I mean you can't look at one person because of their cultural differences and think that they're an unfit parent. I mean that'd be like me going into like say the deepest part of Africa and going to a tribe and seeing how they raise their children and being like, Oh, this is wrong. I have to take this child out of here. You know what? Because I'm the intruder. I am not part of that culture. So I can't do that. 100%. 100%. And this movie, it felt like, one of the parts that made me so mad was throughout all these court cases that she's going on, they're filming her have these hysterical breakdowns after her children get forcibly ripped from her. After she's done nothing, she's like, just give me my, like, forcibly ripped from her and then they're like, Oh, well she's mentally unstable because she's screaming and she swung at a police officer. It's like, yeah, this police officer ripped her child literally from her arms and then the other one is like restraining her. I thought that was so, I hated that. It made me feel like it was very demonizing to like, I don't know, to like women having emotions. And like you would see it like with the husband a lot too. Like obviously like in real life, he was like abusive. But like he was always trying to like silence her and be like, Hey, you need to get it together. We need to assimilate. We need to change. We need to do this. We need to do that. Whereas like she was like, but I want to raise my children with the culture that we grew up in and I want to fight for them. Whereas he was very much like all about himself and his citizenship and like making a life for him in Norway and not really like thinking about her and the kids. I believe. And they point that out too when they're like, Oh, well, you don't help with chores. And he's like, yeah, I don't help with chores. I thought that was so funny that he got so like bent out of shape about that. But I don't know. And then going back to her brother -in -law, his brother, obviously a dirtbag. But I thought that one scene between the brother and the representative, the representative of Norway was super interesting. Like that bribe scene, because I was like, OK, you're obviously going to the weakest link to bribe them, painting you in an even worse light. Yeah. But like if you're going to do that, you would go to the weakest link. You'd go to the person that you know is going to be the most easiest manipulate. I mean, they probably looked into his financials and everything were like, oh, like if we go to him, we could probably do this. I'm not saying that's what you did. No way. Trust me. I'm not trying to bash you. I'm not. I'm just saying what I think happened, like if this is how it went, then that's what I believe happened. I mean, and as a culture like the Indian culture, from what I see, and I'm not sure this is even true, is that the husband works, goes out, makes the money, and then the wife is the patriarch of the house. So she runs the house. She's like, what comes in the house is furniture, the food, the preparation of food. So I think that's, I mean, I could be wrong. I don't know. I'm not Indian. I'm just saying from what I've seen from different movies and different aspects, I feel that's the way the Indian culture is. I mean, so I could see that when that was happening, like I was like, oh, I can kind of understand that, you know, but I also understand that like he was a total jackass. He was a jackass. And in my mind, because I am inferring a lot between the lines, in my mind, like she talks about how she went to school and got her bachelor's like degree in science and how like she was educated. So in my thought, like, and then she's like, oh, and then you wanted to marry me. And I thought that, well, we're going to get back to that scene that I'm thinking about in one second. I'm going to finish my point. So when and then they get married. And then to me, it's kind of seemed like she gave up her career or her job or whatever aspiration she had to move to Norway. Because she says that she says, well, before I moved to Norway, I had a job when the other lawyers questioning her in India. And she's like, well, I had a job. And he's like, well, you don't have a job now. She's like, well, because I moved to Norway with my husband. It's like they're they're trying to set her up to not win constantly. And I feel like so. Obviously, like there is a disclaimer before this movie saying that it is dramatized and it is based on true events, but not a true depiction. And I think what we see a lot in the film is like when you're living this, I can only imagine like when you're living this, everything is so heightened and it feels so much worse than like what it could be. And it can feel like the whole world is against you. I mean, I would have loved to see more scenes of like her and the female lawyer that she had in India because it felt like they had like a really great bond. They had like a really great team if they wanted to make like, yeah, because this movie was like half like melodrama, half courtroom drama, half like family drama. It was it was kind of all over the map, which I know is like very true for real life because it was it is based on a true story. Yeah, like learning over time the history of India and like their their subterfuge of like how they were put down, like during the occupation of Britain and all they had to overcome and everything. I can kind of see how like it's it's it's a battle for for the Indian people to like get respect. And I feel like this movie showed that, like, even though she was a mother that was living her traditions and doing what she was, she wasn't respected. Like they looked at her as just like you're an Indian woman and you have no say in anything. And it was like the white women that were in charge of the children and family services seem to look down on her for for being an Indian mother. And I thought that was awful. I thought it was awful. I hated those women and I try not to hate women, but those women were the literal worst. Like when they're laughing in court and stuff and just like snickering to each other, whatever. They're the worst characters in the movie. I hate them. Another character I hate in the movie as well was the teacher who was like, oh, well, she's not involved in the kids schooling because a project was turned in late. It's like, OK, she's also like not she's like being watched every day and like she forgets one project, like cut her a break. I don't know. It felt like she was getting judged so harshly all the time. And like, I don't know. I liked when in the first appeal or second appeal, when the teacher comes and says like, hey, I like and they kind of write her off as a disgruntled employee. I liked what she had to say, because, like, she really did see her like fighting for her children, which is like I get it. Like in the court of law, there's no room for emotion because it is like the law and you have to hold the law and like whatever comes along with that. But I felt like if one person is doing like all this to get their kids back, like obviously they're mentally fit enough to like sit through like courtroom procedures and like beg and plead. But like she felt like she was not being heard until I think the final courtroom scene in India. Yeah. One part that really tore me up was when she was looking at the judge and she's like, please, please let me say something. And she's like, I'll do whatever you want. I won't feed with my hands. I won't. She's like, I just want my children. I'll do whatever you tell me. She's like, I'll be a good mom. I'll be a good mom. Just let me please have my children. And I'm like, you know, oh my God, this woman's basically saying, look, I'll do anything you want. Just give me my children back. You know, and the judge is like, yeah, no. And I'm like, what? No. I mean, just listen to what this woman's saying. She's not saying like she's saying you can watch her. She's saying you can do anything you want. Just give her the chance to be a mother. And I'm like, I'm like, just a lot of it was just very heart wrenching. I was like, oh my God, you know, as someone that doesn't have a child in their life, I was like, oh my God, I would totally do anything to get my child back in my life. So I totally understood what this woman was saying. I mean, you'll make sacrifices. You do whatever you have to do to have your child in your arms. So like, it was really emotional for me. I thought it was a really awful depiction of the government and like how the government can just do whatever they want and get away with it and do. And that is the key. And do. The government will screw you over and they will. Time and time again. And I think it shows because they talked a lot about how the more kids that they have in the foster care system, the like more money that they get. And like I get the foster care system in Norway seems broken. They say it's children first, but I don't agree with that. And then I feel like the foster system here in America is broken as well. Like, I feel like people that are foster parents don't do it for the right reasons. They do it to get the money. Like we even see like when she because I mean, and I was right. I was with her. Like you can't kidnap your own kids, but also you can't take them illegally across borders. Like I understood that. But like when you see her kidnap her kids when she tries to make it to Sweden and you see them just like in this like small dingy apartment being ignored, like she literally walks into the apartment, takes both the kids and leaves. And they don't even realize like she's able to get to Sweden. So I know a little bit about foster care because my mom and dad, they foster children. And a lot of the kids would tell me that they go to houses and that people wouldn't care about them because they were making money. All they cared about was the money they were making. And they wouldn't put the money towards the kids. They just take the money and spend it on whatever they could for themselves and neglect the children. Not all foster parents are like this. Do not quote me on this saying, oh, he said, no, I didn't. I'm saying these people told me that this is how sometimes it happens and it happens. And I can see that because money corrupts people to the ultimate measures. I mean, you want you don't want to believe in your heart that these people would do that. But money will corrupt people and they will do whatever they can to get it. And it's proven it's a proven fact of life. And we actually see that with the brother in law and the in -law family. So the brother in law and the brother, because I'm sure the brother was in on it. And that whole scene where he was like trying to convince her that he loves her and that they're like doing what's right. It felt so gross and manipulative and just like really disgusting because I was like, you don't care about anything. Like you have not tried to fight for these children once. Like all you care about is your citizenship. So the brother makes a deal with the government that if the kids go into his custody, if she never sees them, which she did not sign off on, they would get paid like 50 rupees and then the Norwegian government would get paid 50. And so then they're like swimming in all this money. And then I mean, that scene when she goes to the house and she's like, I just want to see my kids. Like, she's so excited. She like decorates her house, like, welcome home. And then she can't. Oh, my God. So sad. That scene was like really sad. And then when she goes back and then they like randomly have like a gang of people like warding her off. I was like, where did you all come from? Yeah, it was a little bit crazy. I mean, watching it, I was staring at it going, wow, you know, like. But you know what? It was their neighbors. And I see like, you know, so you got to figure they're in their neighborhood. So they're not going to depict her as like this great person. So the mother seems like someone that would be gossiping and said so I feel that she was telling them, you know, oh, she's abusive. She's this she's crazy. That's why we have these children. And so I think the neighbors not knowing came to their like their defense. We're like, oh, my God, you know, you got to get out of here because you're crazy. You're going to hurt these children. So, I mean, it's it's it's sick and it's it's just twisted. But that's I just I just see people doing this all the time. I see people turning people against other people because they can't. And it's it's power and they have the power. And if you're if you're already down and out, it's hard to get yourself out of that because like once people see you like that, they just it's like you're a victim and they just start attacking you, attacking you, attacking you. And you can't get out of it. I mean, you you fight and fight and fight. And it seems like you're fighting forever and there's never a light at the end of the tunnel. But if you don't give up and keep fighting, there is light at the end of the tunnel. And eventually she finds that light. She does find that light. And I thought the one scene with like the judge in the in when they're in the final courtroom scene in India and she and the judge is like, I want to see the kids and everyone in my chambers. And then he like like acting like the kids would actually go and like talk to him and like embrace him. I thought was so wild because his face is so shocked when they like run to her and they're all like hugging and like dancing. And then he's like, oh, maybe she is a good mom. And I don't know. I really liked I really liked the lawyer. I know that you said you didn't really like him because he came back to fight against her. But I think the government did that as a way to kind of like dig at her and dig at the case and be like. But I thought like because he was talking about being adopted, too. And I don't know, maybe he wished like someone like that, like her would fight for like him as a kid. But I think like fighting and seeing her fight for her and children like I do think he respected her and saw what she was doing and didn't believe like the slander that they were saying about her. Yeah, because there's a part in the movie where he's buying flowers for his adopted mom. I mean, he loves his adopted mom. He says it. He goes, I was adopted and I came from a great family that treated me well and did right by me. So, I mean, in his mind, the system isn't that bad, you know, so he doesn't see what she's going through. Like, I mean, he sees it, but he doesn't he never experienced it. So to him, when she's telling him all this stuff, he's like, no, it didn't happen. No, because because he went he luckily got placed into a good family and he wasn't neglected. He wasn't left to sit in a room by himself while the ladies cooking and the guys watching television, ignoring the children. So he actually came from a family that was caring and loving. And I think that's at the end and that gets to him is when he sees just how much this woman cares, how much she loves her children. And he finally embraces it and says, you know what? Yeah, I see it. And I think what was really important, too, was like he said he was like she would never trade her children for money and she would like never do this for money because they kept harping on the money. That was the motivator for the brother, the brother in law and the husband. So I thought that that was really sweet and really nice because, like like we said, money corrupts. And for her, she was uncorruptible in that sense because all she wanted was her children back. I think, too, there is a really and I think, too, there is a nice moment. And I think that if she kept losing the battle and then she gave up not saying that she ever would. But if she did, I think the final home that the kids were placed in, like where they go visit and she was like, you're a good mom, you're going to be a good mom. Like she's like comforting the adoptive mom. I thought that that was really nice. And I do feel like if the kids like maybe stayed in that home, it would have been like a good it felt like a good, like loving home. It felt like they really wanted kids, like maybe they couldn't have kids. And then they finally were able to adopt. And like, you know, there is like a good there is a good system and there is like goodness within it. Obviously, this is the horror side of it. And we do hear a lot of the worst side of it most of the time. Yeah, I thought so, too. I thought like the parents that were in that situation would have been good parents because, you know, she even says, please don't take the children for me, please. And she's like, but they're my children. She's like, you'll have children, but these are my children. I want my children. And you could see like the woman breaking down because she was getting emotionally attached to them. And, you know, sometimes there's people out there that can't have children and they have to adopt. And, you know, they are loving, caring people that want children out there. And, you know, that's the only option they have. And, you know, I think that's one of the situations that these people were in. And I felt like maybe they couldn't have children on their own and they got these two children and you could see that they love them. I mean, he had like a little automated car and stuff like they were going to be spoiled, like rotten. So, I mean, and one part I wanted to talk about was like, you know, them saying that the boy was autistic, you know, and he showed signs of autism. And it was kind of shocking to me, like the father was just like, no, no, no. And I'm like, you know, you should probably try and get these two child tested. I mean, if you love your child, then you hear that they're autistic, you know, and you're not doing anything about it. I mean, that's a reflection on them. And it was the father. The father was just such a tool. And like he has nothing to do with them right now. He has nothing to do with their lives. Like when this all ended here, he just separated himself from them. And like as a father, I could never do that. How could you do that? And I think that too goes back down to like how the husband, how like the father has been like never really cared about like her or his family. He cared about like himself and like having and like what having a family like met like status wise because he was like all about like, oh, I got this new job and I have this great position and I'm going to get citizenship and I have two kids and I like a wife that like takes care of the house. And like, I think that's like is very narcissistic. And like you can see that when he's like, when he just like abandons them. I mean, you can see when he's like actively lying in the court and then just hangs up the call. And then she when she pulls out the phone record and she's like, look at all these missed calls. I thought that was so funny. Like, obviously, like, but like, I think that speaks to his character and how he was never truly like invested in in what she was invested in and what she was invested in was like her family and the children. Oh, I 100 percent agree. I mean, there's one part when he fights the coworker, he tries to fight the coworker that got him in trouble in the first place. He doesn't fight the coworker because of like the child. He fights the coworker because of the problems the coworker caused him at work. And I was like, I was like, OK, you know, you need to get over this work thing because your children are being taken from you, you know, but he could never get over the work. He was like, you know, I worked too hard to get here. I worked too hard to get here. This is where I'm supposed to be. This can't happen. You know, and I was like, all right, listen, it's money, bro. It's it. It doesn't take the place of your children. I mean, it was for him. It clearly did. It clearly did. And like even at the end, like he wasn't even happy for like her getting their kids back. Like all he said was like, oh, I'll take care of mom and dad because like the brother is like, well, now I have no money. And he was like, OK, well, like, figure it out. Like, I'll take care of mom and dad. And I thought that was kind of sad because it showed that, like, even though like he I don't know. And then obviously it went on to make it seem like she raised the children on her own in India. But I don't know. It was it was a sad story. Obviously, if you're interested in it, watch it, do some research about it. It's on Netflix. I watched it on Netflix. The main actress did an incredible performance. I would say like this movie would not be as good if it wasn't for her because she really carried, I believe, the whole thing. Oh, I 100 percent agree. She did an amazing job doing research at the end of the movie. It says Mrs. Chatterley currently lives with her children in India. And that is not true. She lives a thousand miles away doing a job and she's about to move another 300. Her parents, her elderly parents are taking care of her children. But it's a job. So like at the end of the court proceedings, she probably did live with them and was taking care of them. But you know what? You have to work and you have to do a job. So she's out there making money, providing for her children. So, you know, props to her for doing the right thing and fighting and giving it 100 percent of her time to get her children back and not giving up. And like sitting out in front of that building for like hours at a time, waiting for them, just a glimpse of them. I mean, that was heart wrenching. Oh, my God. That was so sad. And then like when they would. OK, back to those evil blond bitches from the Norway, from Norway, when they would just like snicker and film her like, OK. She literally just told her that she could see your kids. And now last second, you're saying she can't. Like, you have to understand that you're not going about any of this in a professional or good way.