English Vinglish: Movie Review

Review: 1997 had Sridevi playing a selfish housewife who sells her husband to a rich heiress in Judaai. More than a decade later she returns again as a housewife. But this time she returns to play Shashi, a kind, honest and dedicated homemaker. She is perfect in her duties as a housewife, even popular as the best laddoo maker in town. But as most Indian households go, she is constantly made to feel insecure by her family for small things. One of her family’s major concerns or rather to their annoyance, she cannot speak English.

The story is pretty much about the small journey Shashi undertakes to rid herself of the constant scrutiny and judgment she is subjected to for not being proficient with English. But it’s not this simple story that counts, it’s all the small things that make up the story. The film has been crafted with a simple message in mind and told in a very elegant and impactful manner. Shashi’s small struggles as she goes from everyday embarrassment and insecurities to self-confidence makes you empathize, laugh and cry with her. You feel yourself rooting for Shashi throughout this elegantly tied-together film.

When in her hometown, she is as it is subjected to constant judgment, but when she lands in New York for her niece’s wedding, her patience is tested and she breaks down. That’s when she decides to join a fast track course to learn English. And in a complete, Mind Your Language sort of setup, heartwarming friendships are formed between Shashi and the group. A jolly group that has a Chinese girl, a Pakistani cabbie, a South Indian techie, a Mexican nanny and a gay African. None of them understand each other’s language but manage to communicate in the most endearing manner. The handsome Frenchman develops a liking for our traditional Shashi. The delicate manner in which this has been handled is another aspect worth applauding for this brilliant debutante director. And if you haven’t been charmed by this story yet, wait for the climax.

Verdict: Sridevi’s comeback is a simplistic and warm effort that’s definitely worth a watch.

Movie Details
Director: Gauri Shinde
Cast: Sridevi, Amitabh Bachchan, Mehdi Nebbou, Priya Anand, Adil Hussain
Writer: Gauri Shinde
Music: Amit Trivedi
Length: 2 hours 16 minutes

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