India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

The Japanese Wife: Nice, but niché


japanesewifeBased on a short story, Aparna Sen’s “The Japanese Wife” is an evocative but slightly stretched tale of an unusual marriage between two seemingly everyday people.

The key words here are “short story” and “stretched”. While Sen does manage to draw an evocative picture of main characters Snehomoy (Rahul Bose) and Miyagi (Chigusa Takaku) the narrative feels a little drawn out at times and it does feel like a short story which has been stretched into a two-hour film.

Snehomoy, a primary school teacher in a remote village in the Sunderbans forest of eastern India agrees to marry his Japanese pen-friend — over letters and carries on a seventeen-year long marriage with her, without ever seeing her once.

He is too poor to make the trip to Japan and she has a sick mother and then her own illness stops her from making the trip.