English Vinglish (2012)

For years I've avoided Indian cinema because I thought it was all singing and dancing and romancing because those are the kind of Indian movies on TV here in Italy. English Vinglish isn't one of those movies (and thank you, Sid, for the suggestion).

It's a beautiful, funny and sweet film about Shashi (Sridevi), a regular Indian housewife who is constantly mocked by her husband (Adil Hussain) and daughter (Navika Kotia) because she doesn't speak English. Then one day she had to go to New York to attend her niece's wedding and once there she joins a four-week English tuition class. From there, her life changes. 

In spite of what I just wrote, English Vinglish isn't the story of a woman who just wants to learn a language. It's the story of the journey of a woman that comes from a world of low self-esteem and complete lack of confidence who eventually learns to love herself. It's a very simple story, the kind of story that would be boring if not told properly, but the filmmakers did a really good job here. It flows smoothly and it moves at the same pace from start to finish without getting boring. 

Eros International
One of the many things I liked about this film is that the script also delivers the struggles of a stranger in a foreign land, especially in a society that is not very tolerable, in such a natural way that it makes you feel the pain of the character.

Which brings me to what's easily the best thing about English Vinglish, Sridevi and her character, Shashi. I don't know her but, after a brief Google search, I've learnt that she is one of most famous and admired stars of Indian cinema and I can totally see why. She carries the entire movie on her shoulders, her comedic timing is just perfect and she delivers the shyness and insecurities of Shashi beautifully.

The supporting characters are also nice, especially the other foreign students Shashi meets in New York, the songs always work and never feel out of place, and there's some sort of romance that actually has a point. 


  1. Sridevi is India's First Female Superstar and widely regarded as one of our greatest actresses ever. Check out her classic films like Sadma, Mr India, Chaalbaaz, Chandni, Lamhe and her latest 2017 release Mom.