English Vinglish

english-vinglishSridevi’s return to the silver screen after 15-year hiatus hardly aroused any passion in me. Had seen many such re-debuts (naming Madhuri Dixit) failing to sparkle an interest at the box office.

But after reading rave reviews about it on various media channels, I got to admit; it certainly made me wonder if I was missing a good movie. So on a Saturday afternoon (one week after the film released) after completing all the chores (read weekly grocery shopping, clothes shopping) Rishi and I decided to watch ‘English Vinglish’.

The film started without much fanfare, a simpleton Shashi (Sridevi in a cotton saree) is shown managing a hundred things at a time just like a homemaker does; cooking breakfast, packing lunch boxes, getting the kids ready for the school and helping them with various other things. But instead of a simple ‘thank you’ from her mostly-absent husband and academically-smart teenage daughter, all that she receives in return are constant snide remarks and insults on her lack of knowledge of the Queen’s language. Next, Shashi is called to New York to help her only sister manage the wedding of her daughter. After a lot of coaxing and cajoling, she agrees to go alone to the big bad city. But within a few days, she finds herself out of depth without her English language skills. So she decides to join a 4-week English language tutorial to master the language. What follows is an engaging melodrama as people from all walks of life; country, faith and belief share the language skill classes with Shashi. Within no time, she not only sharpens her English language skills but also wins over hearts.

A simple film with honest characters but deep complex emotions. The casting is perfect to the T. Once a star always a star. Sridevi is awesome as an average homemaker desperately trying to please her husband and kids and craving for their appreciation and respect. Shivansh Kotia as Shashi’s son is very adorable while her niece, Priya Anand has a short but important role. The two men, Adil Hussain and Mehdi Nebbou have done full justice to their short roles. All the characters in the English class have been chosen after much deliberation and it shows. Not a single one of them looks out of the place. Amitabh Bachchan’s cameo is endearing particularly when standing at the immigration kiosk, he retorts, “My purpose of the visit to the United States of America is to help the American economy recover by spending some dollars”.

The music of the film save one Marathi song, Navrai Majhi, is nothing to write home about. Gauri Shinde as writer/director has done a remarkable job.

Verdict: It’s raining good movies this season and English Vinglish is definitely one of them. Don’t expect a lot from the movie but when you come out, you will surely feel good about yourself.

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