English Vinglish – An opportunity to rediscover ourselves…


Today watched this movie called English Vinglish thanks to YouTube Movies… Glad to see the actress Sridevi back in full swing after a very long time… I know its not a recent movie, but thats how caught up I am with movies… Anyways, what can I say regarding her performance… Absolute perfection is the only comment I can say as she literally left me speechless…

Coming to the movie, the plot is basically the journey of a homemaker/entrepreneur who has one “problem” and its that she can’t speak in English, which leaves her to be the butt of all jokes in her family and the story is her journey to overcome that and gain the respect of her family among everyone else…

The movie appears to be basically a jibe at the ever so judgemental Indian society taking “English” as the well deserved example… We see the lady being humiliated by both her husband and everyone in her family for her poor command over English throughout the movie, causing her to be in a constant state of feeling insecure and we can see that movie is also gunning the infamous patriarchical setup in most Indian families… For example, the scenes where as she tries to sit down with a cup of tea, she gets summoned by the husband asking for tea and especially the scenes where the husband mocks the lady in front of everyone, every chance he gets, by saying that she was born only to make laddoos and saying that its a complement with no regard to how she feels about it or rather expecting her to be fine with it… And ofcourse, the filmmakers appears to be giving the message that kids too learn by observing the behavior of the elders in the house, as we can see the daughter also mocking and insulting the mother on her English skills just like how the father does, essentially giving us the lesson to be careful about how we behave in the house especially around kids…

The the storyline appears to end on a positive note, but quite frankly, I must ask – is it really a happy ending??? The reason I ask this is because I don’t quite understand how this can be one because, the judgemental attitude of the people involved hasn’t changed one bit… Learning English got her the respect she deserved even otherwise, which quite clearly she wouldn’t have gotten no matter what else she did (certainly her being an entrepreneur didn’t held)… Judging a person based on their command over the English language is something our Indian society does even today… So, one must ask, does a woman, a mother really need to learn the English language to deserve any kind of respect from her children and the rest of her family??? Does she or anybody else for that matter deserve to be considered less than human just because he/she cannot speak English??? Thats what the makers of this movie appears to be addressing thru this and whether it will get conveyed properly to most people is something thats yet to be seen… Well, considering this movie was released in 2012 and today in 2017, the kind of incidents we see reported in the news everyday is a testimony to the fact that nothing has in fact changed… One can only hope that outside the limelight, this movie has atleast caused some change…

Overall, the movie is a must watch marking the triumphant return of the actress Sridevi…

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