From South China Morning Post - SCMP.com
Lifestyle›Arts & Culture
Film review: English Vinglish
Thursday, 14 March, 2013 [Updated: 10:36]
By Yvonne Teh
Director: Gauri Shinde
Category: I (Hindi, English and French)
English Vinglish will provide many Hong Kong cinemagoers with their introduction to its beautiful sari-clad star, Sridevi. But long-time fans of Indian cinema will already be familiar with the luminous actress who graced more than 200 Indian films before going into what looked like permanent retirement in 1997.
One and a half decades on, however, Sridevi has made a high-profile return in debutant director Gauri Shinde's endearing comedy-drama about a middle-aged Indian woman whose life is transformed by a fateful decision she makes while on a one-month visit to the US.
The faithful wife of business executive Satish Godbole (Adil Hussain) and loving mother of two, sweet Shashi Godbole (Sridevi) leads a typical upper-middle class housewife existence bar two things. On the positive side, she has an talent for making ladoos and channels that ability into selling the snack. Less happily for her, she also stands out within her social strata and nuclear family for being less than a fluent English speaker.
Shashi's lack of English-language proficiency sometimes exposes her to ridicule and scorn from her teen daughter (Navika Kotia) and condescension from Satish. Still, she doesn't truly feel undone by her English-language deficiencies until she experiences problems such as ordering at a New York cafe.
Resolving to remedy the situation, Shashi enrols in a crash course in English and finds herself in a class with a motley, multi-cultural crew and a flamboyant gay teacher (Cory Gibbs) who prove to be uncommonly friendly and supportive despite their hailing from diverse - at times even divergent - backgrounds. She also attracts the romantic admiration of French classmate Laurent (Mehdi Nebbou) - a development that prompts her to take a good look at her life and think about whether she's truly happy with it.
A warm-hearted film that the director has dedicated to her mother, English Vinglish admirably weighs against many forms of discrimination, including, but not restricted to, ones that stem from one's linguistic choices and facility. This movie about a woman who decides to show her husband and daughter she's better than they think she is also shows the perils of taking the familiar for granted.
Even as this film makes many pertinent moral points, it also delightfully entertains. Sridevi is undoubtedly the star and is responsible for much of the movie's spark, but the rest of the cast also impress and contribute to it being a thoroughly pleasing affair.
English Vinglish opens today [Thursday, March 14, 2013]
From DimSum Magazine, Hong Kong
This film is a very simple tale that will leave you smiling coming out of the theater and maybe even shedding a tear or two. Writer and Director Gauri Shinde has made a very positive film about overcoming one’s insecurities and gaining self-confidence. He even included a little sub-plot about equality and includes gay characters in that plot. Sridevi has not lost her talent as an actress (this is her first film after a 15 year hiatus to raise her children); she absolutely shines in this film. She plays Shashi with such vulnerability and with such strength. The plot pacing towards the end does get a bit choppy and there is one overly campy gay character that started to get on my nerves after a while but other than that this is a good little Bollywood film that I absolutely recommend you go see.
For me, this film is very inspirational movie and i learn a lot from this movie. Because the story of Sashi is very similar to our ordinary life. The reason why i love Indian movie is that they usually teach something for us to learn from their film. This film try to tell about how great peoples can be if they already found passion in their life. Another important lesson i got from this movie is that never underestimate people, just by looking her job, position or educational background.In my daily life, i found that there are a lot of people who often underestimate other peoples just because of their appearance or educational background. What Sashi do in this film make me realize and always keep in mind that ordinary people can be a great people and do something we never expect when they found their passion.
I also remember Mother Theresa ever said “Do small thing with great love“. I totally agree with this quote. Don’t assume that we have to do great things to be success in our life. Find what you love and do it with great love, and you will surprise with the result.
For you who haven’t watch this movie, i really recommend you to watch. Beside it’s very enjoyable, it also teach a lot of things. I can’t tell too much about the content of the movie, because i don’t want to spoil you who haven’t watch the movie. The thing is that i really love this movie because of its simple storyline and how it make me smile, laugh, moved by the story.