Today I saw the comeback movie of Sridevi, English Vinglish – the Tamil dubbed version. Sridevi was the sensation both in Tamil and later in Hindi film industry in the 80s. She is a brilliant actress of great talent whose last film was nearly 20 years back, so this movie carried big expectations from all quarters in both Kollywood and Bollywood.
The storyline I read before the movie resembled “Mind Your Language”, but the actual movie turned out to be a bit different. It was that of a Homemaker’s search for self-respect from her own family & society at large. Sridevi has done the role of an innocent homemaker really well. Her character has a superb cooking talent but the lack of English knowledge makes her own daughter make fun of her and she gets little attention from her husband. In this context, she is invited to the USA by her sister for the wedding of her daughter. There she learns English in 4 weeks by going to a crash course and finally winning the attention and respect from everyone around her. New York is shown beautifully in the movie.
The need to travel to the USA comes out being forced in the script, all that happens in New York could have taken place in Mumbai or Bangalore or even Singapore. In my many visits to the USA, though the tellers serving cash registers there could be robotic they were never rude as shown in the movie especially in a cultural melting pot like New York or LA. That came out very artificial. I felt the family and peer pressure itself was good enough reasons for the character to learn English. Her experiences of travelling in the local train, asking directions – those scenes are taken nicely and I could certainly relate to them well. Adil Hussain who played the role of Sridevi’s husband in the movie comes out much older than her, especially considering the ages of their kids shown in the movie.
Overall an average movie which is worth watching but the potential of having Sridevi was not fully utilised.