I know, I am going overboard with Movie reviews on this blog. But how could I not write about Sridevi's comeback Movie?
And boy, what a comeback. There is no one like her. Acting simply runs in her blood and she proved it with this fabulous, not to miss Movie, English-Vinglish.
Folks, book your tickets pronto and be prepared to get totally engrossed in Shashi's life. Sridevi plays the role of 'Shashi Godbole', a middle class housewife living in Pune. She lives with her husband who is a typical Indian husband, a teen aged daughter, a small son and a gentle mother-in-law.
Shashi is independent and earns her own money by making delicious 'Boondi Ladoos' at home, on order. Her life revolves around her family and she puts their priorities before her needs and happiness. Her family keeps laughing at her bad English and humiliates her everytime she speaks bad English. Her husband underestimates her and does not have any respect for her talents. Her daughter is so ashamed of a mother who cannot speak English, that she even refuses to introduce her mother to her own friends.
Many women can identify with Sashi, as the dedicated wife and mother who is taken for granted by her family, and is made fun of because of her poor English.
One day, Shashi flies to New York to help her sister for her daughter's wedding. There is comes across an English speaking course which promises to teach her English in just four weeks. The next four weeks you can slowly see the transformation in Shashi, as she moves across New York, to reach her class everyday. At first hesitant of the new landscape and later as comfortable as a New Yorker, walking with a cup of Coffee in her hand.
Her fellow classmates are equally handicapped when it comes to speaking English. Amongst them is the French actor 'Mehdi Nebou' who gets attracted to Shashi for her beauty and simplicity. There are no heavy romantic scenes, but superb dialogues, body language and the look in his eyes convey it all.
At first, Shashi is shocked by the revelation, but eventually takes it in her stride. She tells him in 'Hindi' that she is married and has two children, and nothing is possible between them. I found this one of the most beautifully directed scenes in the Movie. Language does not become a barrier for communication. The tone and her eyes say it all. The ending of the Movie is the icing on the cake, where Shashi finally shows to her family that she is person with feelings who has self esteem and is not just a wife and mother.
The Movie is as smooth as melted Butter on hot toast. There are no breaks in the storytelling and you cannot find fault with the dialogues or the screenplay. The songs are at the right place and do not hamper the rhythm of the story.
Amitabh Bachchan is superb in his special appearance. Shashi's classmates and her English teacher have all acted well and provide many light moments in the Movie.
There are a few drawbacks in the Movie. Since this Movie is based on a Marathi family, the ambience in the house does not come close to a Marathi household. Also, very few Marathi middle class women will read read a Hindi Newspaper. They should have shown Shashi reading a 'Sakal' or a 'Kesari'. Also, why did Shashi wait to learn English till she came to New York? She could have studied it in India too.
Apart from these few drawbacks, I feel the Movie is delightful. Sridevi chose the right film for making a comeback. She is still beautiful and age has added a certain edge to her acting. Her bubbliness and effervescence is hidden well to show her as mature and rooted, but can still be seen in many places.
A few scenes that stuck with me are, when Shashi encounters a rude Barista at a Cafe and when she meets Amitabh on the Plane to New York.
I give this Movie a rating of 4.5 out of 5. A must watch Movie especially for Sridevi fans as she brings back her magic on the silver screen.