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English Vinglish (2012)

aka English Vinglish

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 134 mins · English, Hindi, French, Tamil, Telugu, Telugu language

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Sweet and Simple

English Vinglish is a great watch because of its genuine script, nice music, beautiful direction by Gauri Shinde and most importantly outstanding acting by Sridevi. Sridevi is the forever topnotch actress, and she proves it once again.

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****

Written & Directed by: Gauri Shinde
Starring: Sri Devi
Review: ****

English Vinglish is easily one of the best movies of 2012. The fact that this is Gauri Shinde's directorial debut only goes to prove how talented she is. I have only two words for the movie: simple & beautiful. Yes, I am going to be using those words a lot. Sri Devi makes a comeback through English Vinglish, and all I can say is... what a comeback! Dressed by Sabyasachi in ever so plain but beautiful sarees, Sri Devi looks every bit a perfect, homely, Indian wife. I haven't seen many movies of Sri Devi (except Mr. India and a few others, I guess), but now I will make it a point to do so!

Shashi (Sri Devi) is the perfect Bhartiya biwi, who cooks well, takes care of her (mean) husband and children, manages a side-business of laddoos, but suffers from an inferiority complex because of her inability to speak English. She is constantly reminded of this because of her insensitive husband and daughter. They laugh for a...(more)

Written & Directed by: Gauri Shinde
Starring: Sri Devi
Review: ****

English Vinglish is easily one of the best movies of 2012. The fact that this is Gauri Shinde's directorial debut only goes to prove how talented she is. I have only two words for the movie: simple & beautiful. Yes, I am going to be using those words a lot. Sri Devi makes a comeback through English Vinglish, and all I can say is... what a comeback! Dressed by Sabyasachi in ever so plain but beautiful sarees, Sri Devi looks every bit a perfect, homely, Indian wife. I haven't seen many movies of Sri Devi (except Mr. India and a few others, I guess), but now I will make it a point to do so!

Shashi (Sri Devi) is the perfect Bhartiya biwi, who cooks well, takes care of her (mean) husband and children, manages a side-business of laddoos, but suffers from an inferiority complex because of her inability to speak English. She is constantly reminded of this because of her insensitive husband and daughter. They laugh for a minute when she says "jhaaz" instead of "jazz", the daughter is painfully embarrassed to take her to the PTA in her school, and she is deemed to be "born to make laddoos". A chance wedding takes her to New York where she is even more acutely aware of her problem, but on an impulse joins an "English tuition"- a class with students from diverse backgrounds and an American teacher who is cute as hell! Together they form a class similar to the one in Mind Your Language, and it accounts for a quite a few funny moments. The movie is, like I said, simple... predictable even: woman feels bad because she can't speak English, decides to join a class, and feels great about herself. We all know where the movie is heading, but we just don't feel like letting go. Small moments like when Shashi tries to find her class, or when she learns that she's an "entrepreneur" (her scrunched up nose, chin in the air, confident walk really makes us proud), or the very last scene where her husband looks at her admiringly- all these are strung together so beautifully that the audience is rooting for Shashi till the last minute. She's the quintessential wife who reminds us of our mother, and her family of, well... us. The movie gives us an important lesson without being preachy at all: that when someone has an accent, we should remember that he/she knows one language more than us. We are all unique and our accents are something to be celebrated and not be ashamed of.

Sri Devi, despite her South-Indian accent, is beautiful. Her high-pitched stuttering voice, big sad eyes and hurried mannerisms, all lend to her character, making it immensely likeable. The rest of the cast is also very good- especially the English class. The music is hummable and sweet; Amit Trivedi works his magic again! The director, Gauri Shinde is obviously someone to watch out for. Go watch the movie if you're a Sri Devi fan, or you have a mom like Shashi, or ... in fact, just go watch the movie. Period. (less)

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Cast:

Small Shashi
No_movie_poster David Fischer
No_movie_poster
No_movie_poster Mrs. Godbole
Small Laurent
No_movie_poster Saagar Godbole
No_movie_poster Satish Godbole
No_movie_poster Shashi's sister
Small Radha
No_movie_poster Eva
Small Shashi Godbole
No_movie_poster Sapna Godbole
Small
No_movie_poster Salman Khan
Small
No_movie_poster Yu Son
No_movie_poster P Ramamurthy
No_movie_poster Udumbke
No_movie_poster Kevin

Crew:

No_movie_poster Gauri Shinde Director
No_movie_poster R. Balki Production
No_movie_poster Sunil Lulla Production
No_movie_poster Gauri Shinde Writer
No_movie_poster Rakesh Jhunjhunwala Production
No_movie_poster RK Damani Production
No_movie_poster Gauri Shinde Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Hemanti Sarkar Editing

Plot:

Shashi Godbole (Sridevi) is a housewife who loves cooking and as a hobby makes and sells laddoos which she considers to be a small business. She is a dedicated homemaker who is taken for granted by her husband, Satish(Adil Hussain) and daughter, Sapna and is ridiculed by them for her extremely poor English. However, her young son Sagar loves her as she is. There are frequent instances when Sapna and Satish make fun of her weak English but they never try to console or help her. This makes a deep impact in Shashi's emotions and makes her feel bad about herself.

Shashi's older sister, who lives in New York, invites Shashi's family for her daughter's wedding. It is decided that Shashi will go to New York alone to help her sister set up everything for the marriage. Her husband and kids will join her later when the wedding closes in. While Shashi is in New York, Shashi becomes embarrassed when her lack of English causes chaos at a local coffee shop so she secretly enrolls herself into a conversational English class that promises to teach the language in four weeks. The class comprises a Mexican nanny Eva, a Pakistani cab driver Salman Khan, a Chinese hairstylist Yu so, a Tamil software engineer Rama, a quiet young African man, and a soft-spoken French chef named Laurent (Mehdi Nebbou). Shashi quickly emerges as amongst the most promising and committed students in her class. In midst of all this, Laurent becomes attracted to Shashi. Shashi is respected by everyone in the class for her charming behaviour and her gifted capability of cooking delicious dishes. This makes Shashi start finding confidence in herself.

Meanwhile, Shashi's niece Radha (Priya Anand) finds out about her secret English classes and supports and helps her in her literary pursuit. Shashi starts watching English films at night and doing her homework religiously. To complete the English speaking course each of the students must take a final test, as announced by her teacher David Fischer. The test is a 5-minute speech that each student should prepare and deliver which will be judged by the tutor who will then issue the certificate. Shashi's family joins her in New York earlier than expected, as a surprise. At first Shashi tries to attend class, but when this becomes impossible because of her family duties, she asks Radha to tell the teacher she's quitting. Furthermore, the test date coincides with the wedding date so she misses the test.

Shashi's niece invites her English teacher and all her friends at the English speaking class to the wedding. At the wedding, Shashi gives a heart-touching and enlightening speech (in English), more of a toast to the couple at the wedding and stuns everyone who knew Shashi as a "typical conservative Indian woman". In the speech Shashi tells the importance of having a beautiful family and the roles required to be played by all the members of the family. She focuses on the fact that family should be the one which always gives respect to each other and never laugh at one's weaknesses. The English tutor, who is present amongst the guests, declares that she has passed the test with distinction and issues her the certificate. Shashi's husband and daughter finally realise their mistake of mocking her lack of proficiency in English and taking her for granted. Shashi thanks Laurent for "making her feel better about herself". The movie ends with Shashi's family returning to India. On the flight Shashi requests in quite fluent English if the stewardess has any Hindi newspapers.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 2012-10-05 : United Kingdom

Theatrical : 2012-10-05 : Netherlands

Theatrical : 2012-10-05 : Singapore

Theatrical : 2012-10-05 : India

Theatrical : 2012-10-04 : Kuwait

Theatrical : 2012-10-05 : Canada

Theatrical : 2013-03-14 : Hong Kong

Theatrical : 2013-05-16 : Germany

Theatrical : 2013-06-27 : Germany

Theatrical : 2012-10-11 : New Zealand

Theatrical : 2012-10-12 : Nigeria

Theatrical : 2013-06-28 : Austria

2012-09-14 : Canada

2013-02-14 : United States of America

2013-01-01 : United States of America

2013-06-11 : France

2013-07-06 : Israel