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'English Vinglish' Review: Woman Power!!

Rating: 3.5/5
Banners: Eros International, Hope Productions
Cast: Sridevi, Amitabh Bachchan, Mehdi Nebbou, Adil Hussain, Priya Anand and others
Music: Amit Trivedi
Cinematographer: Laxman Utekar
Editor: Hemanti Sarkar
Screenplay, direction: Gauri Shinde
Producer: Balki
Release date: 05/10/2012
 
Sridevi is back after a marathon gap of more than ten years and that in itself was an exciting thought for many. But was the film good enough for Sridevi to score a bang? Let us see
 
Story
Shashi (Sridevi) is an average Indian housewife who devotes her life to her family but runs a small home business of Laddoos. She does not know English and is very submissive and obedient. Her husband Satish (Adil Hussain) is never really connected to her on an emotional level and takes her very lightly. Even Shashi’s schoolgoing daughter doesn’t give her the due respect. The story takes a turn when Shashi has to go to the USA as her sister’s daughter is getting married. The English problem strikes again and Shashi decides to deal with it. She joins for a 4-week crash course secretly. Whether she is successful in her mission and what are her experiences forms the rest of the story.
 
Performances
It is definitely an understatement to describe Sridevi’s performance in few lines. She is impeccable, perfect and remarkable. She has simply started from where she stopped many years ago and strikes a blazing performance.
 
Mehdi Nebbou is another impressive performer. He has underplayed his role very well as a Frenchman and touches the hearts with his act.
 
Priya Anand has got a wonderful opportunity through this film and she made good use of it. She made her presence felt. That mischievous glint in her eyes and that smile will take her far.
 
Adil Hussain was commendable, it is not easy to pair up with someone like Sridevi and still dominate her onscreen. Though he had his brief moments, he had his own impact.
 
Amitabh Bachchan was impressive, Sulbha Deshpande was effective, Shivansh Kotia was cute. The others did their bit as required and added good value.
 
Highlights

  • Sridevi
  • Technical values
  • Narrative
  • Screenplay
  • Performances from cast

Drawbacks

  • Sridevi’s close-up shots could have been avoided, her frail look with distorted nose becomes obvious

Analysis
There are quite a few actresses who made a comeback into films and started a second innings but most of them couldn’t really take off. Even someone like Madhuri Dixit is still adjusting with TV shows and could not shine on big screen.

So, a lot of apprehensions and speculations were on when Sridevi announced her comeback. She still commands a lot of following among men and women on equal footing. But what makes her class apart is her choice of subjects and the way she elevates her characters. This has been the case even during the heydays of her career. In this film, Sridevi became the symbol for the Indian woman and her multi-faceted roles which are selfless.

Of course, in today’s times it is hard to see such breed of a noble and ideal lady. The film is sure to strike a chord with ladies and they would want to see themselves through Sridevi. However, it should not be for the theatrical experience, if they can implement even half of that in real life they can become more famous than Sridevi among their families and friends. Due credit must be given to the director for taking the film in a subtle way.

At the end of it, the audience walks out of the theatres feeling light and with a strong impact on understanding the essence of family and bonding. The box office is sure to rattle with the family, urban and women audience giving it thumbs up.

Bottomline: Sridevi…Sridevi…and only Sridevi…

(Venkat can be reached at venkat@greatandhra.com or https://twitter.com/greatandhranews)

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