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Movie Review: English Vinglish (2012)

Written By Rita Maharjan on Thursday, October 11, 2012 | 4:19 AM

It wouldn’t be wrong to state that ad film maker R Balki knows the pulse of the audience and taps his target group just right to make an astounding impact with his films.His first film Cheeni Kum was applauded by all and sundry and so was the case with Paa. This time around he lets his wife get on the helm of affairs and she takes over the mantle of a director with yet another content driven film English Vinglish.The film has been in the limelight only for the comeback of Sridevi and as expected is worthy a comeback for this diva stealing the show!
English Vinglish is a story of a housewife Shashi and her quest to learn English. Shashi has two kids and she lives in Mumbai with her family. Though she is a perfect house maker, she is often criticised by her husband and kids for not knowing English. Shashi’s niece understands her pain and she tells her to learn English to get the respect of the family. Shashi takes the challenge to learn the language and joins an English speaking class. In her class, she is instructed to break long words into two to learn them, so she is told to learn Manhattan by breaking into two – Man and hattan. In the same way, she breaks the word judgemental into two, judge and mental. Shashi’s struggle and determination to learn English makes the most interesting part of the movie. The movie shows the craze of Indian families to speak English, which creates many hilarious situations.
Although the story is very simplistic and quite predictable, the scenes are so well-written that you will find yourself glued to the proceedings from the word Go! The concept itself is so relevant in a country like ours, where so much importance is given to knowing and speaking the English language. Writer-Director Gauri Shinde resists the temptation of going over-the-top with the emotional drama. The high-voltage scenes too, have a semblance of control and maturity which make the film such a smooth ride. The scenic locales of New York have been wonderfully captured by lens man Laxman Utekar while the crisp editing by Hemanti Sarkar keeps you enthralled for two hours! Along with Sridevi, Gauri Shinde deserves all the accolades for making such a special film. This is not just ‘Best Debut Director’ material, but ‘Best Director’ material! The film will remind everyone of someone either from their own family or from their friends’ family. There is a Shashi in almost every household of the country. And the film shows us that this Shashi should be acknowledged, respected and helped, instead of being put down. There are some scenes in the film which will make you guffaw, some which will make you let out a teary-eyed smile and some that will choke you. Full of emotion, this!
Sridevi is the perfect choice for this movie. Nobody can play the role of Shashi so convincingly. She shines in her comeback film. Though Sridevi is in a complete de-glamourous role in English Vinglish, she will still mesmerise you with her simplicity and charm. Undoubtedly, Sridevi has given an award winning performance in English Vinglish.
Adil Hussain, who played Sridevi’s husband in the movie, is a good choice for this role. French actor Mehdi Nebbou will win your heart with his adorable French accent. He has given a powerful performance in the movie.The rest of the supporting cast, including Sujata Kumar, Priya Anand and Sulbha Deshpande, too deliver great performances. Though the surprise package of the film is superstar Amitabh Bachchan. He is a total delight to watch in a brief, but very comical role.
The music of English Vinglish is soulful and good, the credit goes to Amit Trivedi (Dev D, Udaan, Aisha fame). Every song in the movie is well placed and does not look forced. ‘Manhatten’ and ‘English Vinglish’ are good to listen while ‘Navrai Majhi’ is fun to watch.
Overall this family entertainer is a must watch.It’s a truly delightful film, with Sridevi stealing the show, as expected!

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