English Vinglish sees Gauri Shinde making her directorial debut in this family entertainer. The film has Sridevi in the central role and is based on a middle-class Indian housewife and entrepreneur named Shashi Godbole. She is insulted by her family for not knowing the English language, despite being able to read, write and speak Hindi perfectly well. Her family’s consistent mocking motivates her to secretly take English classes during a visit to New York for her niece’s wedding. The film was inspired by Shinde’s own experiences; she claims that she used to mock her mother for not knowing English. She has stated in many interviews that English Vinglish is a tribute to her mother and a way of saying sorry to her too.
English Vinglish was one of the best films to have released during 2012. Shinde provides here a unique story that has been vividly exemplified and will also touch the hearts of many. Given the fact that this is her directorial debut, Shinde makes an excellent first impression that has the ability to spellbind. The film has a masala of drama, comedy and even romance that have been well utilised. The production and cinematography is top-notch and they contribute significantly in making this re-watch material. English Vinglish is an emotionally-charged film that will leave you siding with the female protagonist right until the end. There are also some delightful songs for you to enjoy that have been composed by acclaimed music director Amit Trivedi, with lyrics from Swanand Kirkire. These include ‘Dhak Dhuk’, ‘Manhattan’, ‘English Vinglish’, and Navrai Majhi’.
Sridevi offers a sensational portrayal as a housewife who also makes and sells mouth-watering ‘ladoos’ (sweetmeats) to her community. Fifteen years after her last film Judaai (1996), Sridevi has not lost her touch as an artiste. The way in which she showcases her character’s struggles and endeavours is done with great skill and ability. Sridevi has proven with this film that, at the age of 49, she can still leave a lasting impression on you as a viewer. Despite good supporting performances from Adil Hussain, Priya Anand, Mehdi Nebbou, as well as a splendid cameo appearance from Amitabh Bachchan, it is largely Sridevi who carries the weight of this film on her shoulders. Without her, perhaps English Vinglish would not have had such a phenomenal impact and would not have gone on to be classified as a great piece of cinema.
English Vinglish is a colourful, moving and entertaining film that will leave you hooked from beginning to end. The unconventional storyline, strong ‘desi’ flavours, great direction as well as the return of one of Bollywood’s major icons make this film an absolute must watch!
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