Shashi Godbole(Sridevi) is your average, upper-middle-class mother of two, whose special skills also include making ladoos. In fact, she’s so good in her sweetmeat that she even markets it.
But one skill that Shashi lacks is speaking English. This makes her the constant butt of jokes and rebuttal with her husband ( Adil Hussain) and teenage daughter (Navika Kotia). The film drives home the point that those who speak English fluently usually adapt a condescending attitude towards those who don’t.
Mind you; Shashi is not your average Jane. When opportunity takes her to New York for a niece’s wedding; the sari-clad Shashi, steals a few hours each day and enrolls for a four-week crash course in English.
Here begins a hilarious yet heart-rending tale where Shashi and a motley bunch of a Spanish nanny, Eva (Ruth Aguilar); a Tamil software engineer, Rama (Rajeev Ravindranathan), a Chinese beautician, Yu Son (Maria Romano), a French cook, Laurent ( Mehdi Nebbou), and a Pakistani cabbie, Salman Khan (Sumeet Vyas), an African dancer, Udumbke (Damian Thompson) guided by an English tutor, David (Cory Hibbs) show you spunk and determination which can help you overcome obstacles anytime or anywhere.
The students of the English class also act as a support system to the protagonist, who despite her own dedication, finds that complacency has slipped into her marriage and there’s self-respect lacking in her relationship with her teenage daughter.
In Laurent, the Frenchman’s attraction for her, Shashi rediscovers her own self-worth. Equipped with his attention and her now newfound knowledge of English, she finds wings to soar.
Easily one of the best films of 2012; is tale of women empowerment (actually it is bound to empower every viewer) because it strikes a chord, right from the start to the end titles.
Debutant Gauri Shinde, who made advertising films before she ventured into the feature area; proves she’s an ace cinema writer-director. The result is a sweet, sensitive and superlative film that makes you laugh, cry and smile. Every emotion is identifiable, every nuance is balanced. The characters are real, the performances effortless.
Amit Trivedi’s music is hummable. The title track, Gustak dil, the Marathi remixes of the Navrai Mazhi; all of it is mesmerising. The beauty of the soundtrack is that flows naturally, without disturbing the narrative. Trivedi’s track also gets you to question—why other mainstream filmmakers—make such a song-`n’-dance of bawdy lyrics and item songs, when there is such joy in simplicity.
Sridevi is the backbone of EV. Anxiety, anger, arrogance, anguish, attraction, the actress conveys emotions effortlessly with or without words. Returning to the silver screen after a 15-year hiatus; Sri’s performance here is a master-class for actors. So much so, that you keep applauding her, long after the lights come on. One must also put in a word of praise for the performances of Sri’s son-Sagar (Shivansh Kotia); an adorable moppet who you want to take home with you. And her ma-in-law, Mrs Godbole (Sulabha Deshpande); a delight to watch, as always.
Shashi Godbole is a super-sensitive wife, mother and daughter-in-law; a perfect homemaker and small-time entrepreneur. Her only handicap is English. Does she manage to master the Queen’s language?
English Vinglish has the feel-good factor. It’s the movie to which you must take your grandmother, mother, sister, wife, sweetheart and saas.