Koimoi Recommends: English Vinglish
Cast: Sridevi, Adil Hussain, Mehdi Nebbou, Priya Anand
Director: Gauri Shinde
This week, Koimoi Recommends you English Vinglish. It is the story of Sridevi’s character of Sashi who is a loving wife and mother. However, her only ‘weakness’ (it isn’t really) is that she can’t speak English. Often, Sashi’s husband Satish (Adil Hussain) and her daughter make fun of her when she fails to pronounce English words properly.
However, life changes for Sashi when she goes to Manhattan alone for her niece’s wedding. Initially, we are shown how she’s scared as she walks on the streets of the unknown city. She’s terrified as she doesn’t understand the language properly and feels like people are looking at her as someone who is different. However, Sashi’s life changes when she decides to join English speaking classes so that she faces no trouble in understanding and speaking the language.
English Vinglish is more than just about a housewife learning to talk in English. We get to see how indifferent she was made to feel by her own people around. When she is with her classmates from her English speaking class, she feels happy, wanted, accepted, loved and mainly respected. It’s the respect and value she has been wanting from her husband and kids. Gauri Shinde never shows that Sashi is bechari (helpless), after all, Sridevi’s character never saw herself that way.
When Sashi’s family visits Manhattan for the wedding, they are surprised to see her talking fluently in English. The speech Sridevi gives, in the end, will make you happy and leave teary-eyed as well. Shinde’s film is feminist in tone. The film tells us that just because a person doesn’t know something the majority of them around them are good with, doesn’t make them useless. It also gives hope to those people, especially women who live with self-doubt and want to learn new things. It’s never too late to try something new and one must do it not to please the world, but for themself!
Sridevi shines throughout the film. She is a visual delight and wins you over with her impeccable act. Amit Trivedi’s music blends very well with the mood of the story. The happy songs will cheer you up and the sad ones will help you resonate with the situation. My personal favourite from the film is Gustakh Dil and the title track.
As Women’s Day is around the corner and you want to watch a feel-good movie celebrating women, watch English Vinglish because it’s worth every minute!