Director: Gauri Shinde
Cast: Sridevi, Adil Hussain, Priya Anand, Sulabha Deshpande, Mehdi Nebbou
[highlight]Overall Rating: 3.5/5[/highlight][divider]

There’s this woman at your place, who oozes love for every member of the family and tries her very best to please one-and-all, but is often taken for granted. Before marriage, her education happened mostly in a vernacular-medium school and she may or may not have attended college; so every time a new English word pops up- either from her effortless English-speaking husband and kids, or from her other acquaintances- she has to hop up fast to some other educated soul to make out the exact meaning of that word. Sridevi, in English Vinglish, plays that very woman, who enjoys a decent family life but is never taken seriously by her husband or her kids just because she isn’t well versed in English.

This is a movie about a woman’s self-realization (minus all the dramatics that usually tag along in such flicks), and is profound. Shashi Godbole (Sridevi) is a middle-class housewife who prefers paddling in the pools of vernacular, causing embarrassment for her husband and kids. Her elder sister’s daughter’s marriage brings her to the US of A, where she refuses to stay lingo-handicapped forever, and sneaks away into a English-speaking course which pumps her confidence and gets her romancing the foreign language, and most importantly- her life.

Sridevi is simply superb in this film. Her face speaks out her feelings, with a wide spectrum of emotions on display. And unlike her earlier bubblier roles, this one is quite subtle and realistic. You find yourself doing a ‘whoopee!’ every time she tastes the small victories of life (like the joy on her face of being called an ‘Entrepreneur’, and the smile that pops up when someone praises her delicious laddoos). Sulabha Deshpande as Sashi’s mother-in-law is sweet. Among the kids, you cannot help but adore this small-wonder Sagar (Shivansh Kotia) who cheers up his mom everytime she feels blue. The other members of the English-speaking course- they all add up the fun quotient of the film, and pass on a slice of life every now and then. Amit Trivedi’s music keeps the narrative flowing, and the camera-work is so simple that it’s awesome. Director Gauri Shinde wins hearts with her very first film, and has us expecting more in her following movies.

Overall, English Vinglish is one fun-filled affair, and a person can savor it as effortlessly as those yummy ghee-laden laddoos. This one is definitely not to be missed.