ENGLISH VINGLISH – What a brilliant comeback!

Release Date : Oct. 05, 2012

Director : Gauri Shinde

Cast :

Sridevi, Adil Hussain, Mehdi Nebbou


Gauri Shinde’s directorial debut and Sridevi’s comeback, is a charming combo!  After a gap of 14years, Sridevi steps back into the world of glamour, with absolute simplicity! No rowdy dances, no loud music, an uncomplicated concept and simply incredible direction.

A friend of mine called Sridevi “the queen of expressions”, and I agree. Every sequence, every scene had a new expression. Innocence, masti, joy, seriousness, hurt, anger, be it any emotion, Sridevi beautifully emotes them all.

English Vinglish is a tribute to all the home makers. The story can be related to every other household, where the woman of the house is called as “the lady of the manor” for namesake alone. But in reality, is taken for granted and isn’t given the respect that she deserves for all her turmoil.

A middle aged Maharashtrian woman Shashi (Sridevi) who runs a small catering business (making delectable laddoos); in spite of being utterly devoted to her family, is ridiculed on the basis that she doesn’t speak English very well; although nobody seems bothered that her her Hindi is flawless! Her husband Satish (Adil Hussain) says “My wife was born to make laddoos.” Various other instances in the film portray how she is made to feel inferior by her family at every step, whether it is going to a PTA meeting of her seventh grader daughter, or pronouncing “Just Dance” as ‘Jazz Dance’; she silently bears it all without letting anybody see the hurt and pain that these small things cause to her self esteem.

The twist in Shahi’s domestic life comes about when she goes to New York for her niece’s wedding and encounters a way to learn English in four weeks. The story is predictable, but what keeps the audience transfixed to the screen is Sridevi’s gripping performance. Clad in subtle coloured khadi sarees, she gracefully takes us through a wonderful journey about how one should be self dependent and not wait for miracles to happen.  

In a class where people from different cultures meet to learn English for various reasons, Shahshi soon becomes the most endearing student, who asks the most intelligent questions with the innocence and curiosity of a child. There are certain dialogues in the film, that although seem cliched, but make all the difference. For example, in a session when they are learning vowels and articles, she questions her teacher as to “Why India not THE India, but America THE United States of America?”

Another angle that is beautifully handled by the director, is when Shahshi’s French classmate Laurent(Mehdi Nebbou) is infatuated with her. In certain situations, the two converse in their own language, Shahshi in Hindi and Laurent in French; but there is no need felt for a translation as for one to communicate, language has never been a barrier.

The music by Amit Trivedi is light and foot tapping. (Manhattan, Navrai mhaji; and Gustak Dil being my favourite) Over all, English Vinglish is a family entertainer that connects with one and all and gives many messages all rolled up in one single script; a must watch for every age group!

Rating : 04/05

meenal bale

loves traveling, exploring places; reading randomly picked novels, watching movies, and talking about any topic under the sun :D

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