The movie is a simple story of a middle-class housewife Shashi (Sridevi), who is not being treated well by her family, as she’s not well-versed in the English language. In our country, we often see the English speaking men looking down at the non-English speakers. And director Gauri Shinde has pointed out this through her characters in English Vinglish.
Shashi’s businessman husband and her two kids, does not respect her in the family. To come out from this insecurity and the tag of restricted-to-cooking woman, she decides to learn the language and joins an English-speaking centre to learn the language. There is also a good amount of funny interactions between her fellow students like a French chef, a Pakistani cab driver, a Mexican nanny, etc. The journey of her mastering the language and getting the deserved respect form the crux of the story.
The story is told with a lot of wisecracks. For example: When a visa officer in Chennai asks her, “How will you manage in the US without knowing English,” an Indian co-worker pokes his nose and replies, “Like you manage in this country without knowing Tamil.” Likewise, there are many more witty remarks along the way. The movie brings a lot real-life moments in the story.
The fans of Ajith Kumar, who wait on their toes for his entry, have enough reason to blow whistles, as his welcome dialogue delivery is wonderful. “What is the purpose of your visit?” asks the visa authority and he responds, “I want to spend some dollars to help the American economy recover.” The same role has been portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan in the Hindi version.
English Vinglish has a natural story, and Sridevi is the strength of the movie. One could not have expected a better role for her comeback movie than this. Her strong screen-presence and mind blowing performance are the highlights of the film. French actor Mehdi Nebbou, Adil Hussain, Navika Kotia, Priya Anand have played their part well. Last but not least, Ajith Kumar’s cameo will leave you wanting for more of Thala.
Verdict: Must watch for Sridevi’s fans.