No spoilers 🙂
English Vinglish is a simple and beautiful Hindi film that takes Sridevi the superstar of the 80’s and transforms her into a Indian homemaker. Shashi Godbole , played by Sridevi, is a mother and wife that manages her family and her small home run business of making ladoos. Gauri Shinde ,wife of Balki (Cheeni Kum and Paa fame) is the director of this wonderful film that tells the story of Sashi ,a middle-aged Maharashtrian housewife who earns her own money by making ladoos and Indian snacks and selling them. A lot of women would identify with Sashi since she is one of those devoted yet taken-for-granted housewifes who are ridiculed for their poor linguistic skills by their families.
While watching this film, I thought about how our mothers (especially desi ones) have their mornings and their life revolve around their family and barely ever find the time to enjoy their “own” time. Shinde does exactly this through the character of Shashi. Even though Shashi does everything to keep her kids and her husband happy it just isn’t enough because she can’t read, write, or speak in English. No matter what Shashi does she is still an embarrassment to her tween daughter and less knowledgeable than her husband. Shinde speaks about how in this day and age if one doesn’t speak English they are considered to be less intelligent even if that isn’t the case at all. English Vinglish is about Shashi’s journey and how she conquers “English” and proves her worth to not only her family but to herself.
Gauri Shinde has done a marvelous job writing such a sensitive yet strong character and strory. The story isn’t completely novel in its content but the treatment and performances make it genuine and memorable. Sridevi brings life to Shashi with subtlety, sensitivity, and strength with an effortless ease. Sridevi is in top form and one cannot believe that she was away from the industry and lime light for fifteen years. Sridevi chose an age appropriate character and story unlike Madhuri’s “comeback “ film “Aaja Nachle”. Irrespective of it being an age appropriate character, Sridevi looks absolutely amazing at age 49. Sridevi looks just as dazzling without any make up and drop dead gorgeous when she adds a bit of make up in the movie. As a huge Sridevi fan, I think this is definitely one her finest performances to date (on par with Sadma ).
The only drawback to the film is the second half which tends to drag a little bit but other than that it’s a great watch.
English Vinglish is a feel good film. An homage to our amazing mothers who work so tirelessly for us even when we don’t appreciate them at various times in our lives due to one reason or another. Go watch this with your family, friends, and moms. Don’t miss this one!
Z4B rating: 4 out of 5 Stars