Read the Exclusive English Vinglish Movie Review
English Vinglish is a sensitively made intelligent film.
Shashi is a non-English speaking housewife, subtly ridiculed by her husband and openly made fun of by her teenage daughter for her inability to speak the language. She is a great cook with a small business in making laddoos. However, for her husband this is not a source of pride but just a hindrance. He expects her to do the cooking only for him and shows a bemused nonchalance to her business. She has to go to the US to help plan her niece’s wedding and once there enrolls in an English speaking class. The change that this step brings out in her in her personality forms the rest of the story.
|Star-Cast: Sridevi, Priya Anand, Mehdi Nebbou, Adil Hussain|
|Director: Gauri Shinde|
|Producer: Sunil Lulla, R. Balki, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, R. K. Damani|
|Duration: 2 hrs 16 mins|
Shashi is an intelligent woman whose only flaw is that she can’t speak English. She is subdued and inhibited and insecure. That bit I could understand. But why she should act a bit stupid even with people who speak Hindi is beyond me. So for instance, in the plane when a Hindi speaking man (Amitabh Bachhan in an amusing cameo) sits next to her, she still stutters and speaks hesitantly which did not make sense. The sense of loneliness that one feels in a marriage, which has been reduced to a humdrum banal existence, is very well brought out. I caught myself indulging in a bit of male bashing while watching the movie!
Sridevi in her comeback has chosen smartly. Modest clothes, simple one braid hairstyle and a gentle air makes her the perfect simple housewife. However, the Sridevi spark is itching to get out and I felt that strongly. Here is someone capable of making the screen catch fire and she is not given an opportunity to do that. There was scope for at least one “letting go’ scene after she learns English, but she still keeps her light under a bushel. I wish we could have seen some part of her innate sunniness on screen. There is a scene shown in the end credits where she does a little jig while making coffee that shows the cheery side of the character’s personality once she is free of her responsibilities and on her own path. I only wish there were a few more scenes like that in the main movie.
The movie feels slow in the beginning when too much time is spent on building up the premise but picks up post interval. Smartly, the Director does not overdo the Language school bit with the multiple nationality people. They remain fun but are not overbearing and add the comic element.
I would recommend you watch this one. One, for Sridevi, two, for Sridevi and three for the story which I am sure will make a few men think. English Vinglish works shorks on all counts.
Verdict: A sensitive story with the added pleasure of watching Sridevi again