It wouldn't be wrong to state that ad film maker R Balki knows the pulse of the audience and taps his target group just right to make an astounding impact with his films. His first film Cheeni Kum was applauded by all and sundry and so was the case with Paa. This time around he lets his wife get on the helm of affairs and she takes over the mantle of a director with yet another content driven film English Vinglish. The film has been in the limelight only for the comeback of Sridevi. But does this actually strike a chord as a story or not let's find out.
Shashi Godbole (Sridevi) is a dutiful housewife and a doting mother of two. She loves making Laddoos, possibly her only passion other than housekeeping and raising kids. However, for her husband Satish Godbole (Adil Hussain) her life was only meant to make Laddoos, while for her daughter she is nothing but an embarrassment as she cannot match up to her friend's mothers for Shashi's faltered English is too much of a letdown to everybody. However, one find day she sets out to change all things wrong about her and stuns everybody.
Gauri Shinde delicately handles the smallest of emotions and presents it well on screen. Her world isn't melodramatic yet portrays countless emotions. There isn't the usual rona-dhona, yet the film will get you teary eyed but with a smile. The graph of the Shashi's journey from being a vernac to a decent English speaker is very infectiously liberating and you can't help but instantly start feeling for the character.
The debutant filmmaker doesn't let herself take the cinematic liberty at any point of time and sticks to what is a very practical story. For instance, the way she handles Shashi's reactions to the inclination of a French man towards her is just fantastic. Never for once treading into a predictable part, Gauri enters the film industry as a pleasant surprise.
The only drawback in the film comes with the intermittent lull sequences. Specially the parts where the stock shots of USA are used along with songs which end up testing your patience.
However, all through the dull portions it's Gauri Shinde's ace that holds the fort. There couldn't be a better person to portray the lead part than Sridevi and the actress marks a crackling comeback! Never for once do you see her faltering. Sridevi not only looks beautiful but also matures as an actress. Her portrayal of a vernac housewife who is determined to change the condescending perceptions about her is pure brilliance. Her flawless portrayal clearly testifies once again why she was and still is a superstar!
The rest of the cast too aides Sridevi's performance only to accentuate the entire movie viewing experience.
To sum it up, English Vinglish stands tall on the shoulders of two courageous women, Gauri Shindi and Sridevi who deliver one of the finest films of 2012. A definite watch for everyone.
Critic: Mansha Rastogi
(3.5 / 5) : Very Good