Review : English Vinglish – Sridevi’s master class
Release date: 05 Oct 2012 Rating : 4/5
Director : Gauri Shinde
Producer : Sunil Lulla, R. Balki
Music Director : Amit Trivedi
Starring : Sridevi, Priya Anand

Before she went into retirement, Sridevi was arguably India’s most popular heroine. She was always considered a terrific performer, but she was a glamorous leading lady then. After all these years, Sridevi is making a comeback with ‘English Vinglish’. A movie that has her playing the role of a simple housewife. No makeup. No glamour. Pure performance. Let us see how the movie is.

Story :

Sashi (Sridevi) is a dutiful and simple Indian housewife who leads a quite unremarkable life. She is an expert cook though, and her laddoos are legendary. She makes a decent amount of money by running a small home foods business. There is one limitation to Sashi – she can neither speak nor read English. Her daughter and husband Satish (Adil Hussain) are quite amused by this and her daughter in particular, looks down upon her.

Quite unexpectedly, Sashi needs to make a trip to New York to help out her relatives with a wedding. She is terrified at the prospect and her very first experiences in the United States are far from pleasant because of her English limitation. She chances upon a 4 weeks English speaking crash course, enrolls in it secretly and starts picking up the language with determination and courage.

In the small class, she comes across people of different races and thick friendships are formed, some of them life changing. The story culminates in a moving climax, where Sashi manages to deftly handle her responsibilities as a housewife while balancing her goals at the same time.

Plus :

First, the Legend. Amitabh Bachchan’s cameo in the movie is very sweet and highly effective. His performance is endearing. (In Telugu, Ajith has done this cameo but since I have seen the Hindi version, I cannot comment on his performance)

English Vinglish is an acting masterclass from Sridevi. Pure and simple. She is so brilliantly effective in the role of Sashi, that viewers become allies of the character within the first 20 minutes of the film. She is the heart and soul of this movie. Her performance is restrained, subtle and she shows tremendous emotional variations. Welcome back Mrs. Sridevi. We missed you.

Sridevi is ably supported by Adil Hussain, Priya Anand and the little kid Sivansh Kotia. Sivansh is super effective as the lovable little brat who is so very attached to his mother. Mehdi Nebbou is superb as the smitten french cook. Sumit Vyas as the Pakistani named Salman Khan and Rajeev Ravindranathan as P. Rama Moorthy are highly effective in delivering some good fun.

This is a film that people can relate to very easily. It will strike a chord instantly as Sashi’s character will remind you of your mother, grand mother or aunt. There is a Sashi in every family. The film’s script is a major asset. Though simple, the script is watertight and plays the human emotions beautifully. Characters in the film have been developed wonderfully, with each of them having a unique identity in the story.

Humour is present in subtle doses throughout the movie. The climax sequence has been shot very well. Sridevi’s sarees are beautiful in the film and costumes for other artistes are good as well.

Minus Points :

From a purely cinematic perspective, I can’t think of any major flaws in English Vinglish. The only issue from a commercial standpoint will be its extremely limited appeal to the masses as there is nothing to attract masala entertainment seekers.

Technical Aspects :

The movie’s dialogues are just brilliant. They have been written very well. Editing is near flawless. Amit Trivedi’s music is perfect for the genre and for the story. Lakshman Utekar has managed to capture New York pretty well.

Gauri Shinde has excelled as a director. Full marks to her for weaving such a wonderfully emotional tale. Screenplay is very good and draws the viewers into the film completely.

Verdict :

They say God is in the details. And English Vinglish is a film that has attention to detail at the minutest levels. A masterclass from Sridevi, well written dialogues and a number of memorable scenes make this movie a great watch. Amidst all the bravado and masala of our films in recent times, English Vinglish comes across like a highly enjoyable cup of fresh coffee. And I will say it again. Welcome back Mrs. Sridevi. Rating : 4 / 5

Reviewed by Mahesh S Koneru

Click Here For ‘English Vinglish’ Telugu Review


5 – Flawless
4 – Must Watch
3 – One Time Watch
2 – Wait for the DVD
1 – Stay Away

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