Wednesday, October 10, 2012

English Vinglish

I usually don’t write movie reviews but when I see a good film I feel I must write about it. (the earlier reviews that I wrote were Peepli Live and Tintin)






Kudos to Gauri Shinde for giving the world a good film in Hindi.




Yes, this is a movie that will not only run in India, but will have a universal appeal and audience.

One of the salient features of this movie is the perfect casting. Be it the mother in law (Sulabha Deshpande) or the loud mouthed lady at the coffee counter in New York, 


or the ever smiling priest (Ashvin Mathew) from Kottayam (with his hand movements that  is so characteristic of a Mallu), all were perfectly cast. Most of them underplayed their roles which was the hallmark of the movie.

Some of the other character actors that stand out are Mehdi Nebbou who does the role of Laurent (the French Student). Even though I have seen him on screen with Leonardo DiCaprio in Body of Lies and as Ali Hassan Salameh in Spielberg’s Munich, I just could not recognize him as the French guy Laurent who goes for the English classes with Shashi (Sridevi).


Adil Hussain as Shashi’s husband has done justice to his role. 


In fact I would say that each one has played their role perfectly. And that includes Amitabh Bachan. 

Even though it’s a small cameo role, he did it with ease.  I liked his reply when the US immigration officer asks him the standard question “What is the purpose of your visit?”  to which he replies “To spend  some  dollars and help  your economy. If you don’t want it, I can go back” 




There were some fine details in the movie which may go unnoticed like the time when Shashi and her sister Meera (Sujata Kumar) makes the  laddoos at Manhattan. Shashi rolls the laddoo with her bare hands while Meera does it with gloved hands (as per the norms by the Europeans and Americans that all edible items are not be handled by bare hands) From hygiene point of view it may be true but when it comes to rolling laddoos, you have to feel the temperature of it constantly to know how firm the laddoos will turn out. 


Then there is the time when Shashi rummages through her hand bag for her cell phone and in the process keeps the roll of French Laddoo (given by Laurent) down on the seat and forgets it. A subtle way of showing that she did not accept the roll given by Laurent.




What I liked best in the movie is the fast editing. No one realises that it is the editing that keeps the pace of the movie.
The song Badla Nazara is fast paced and may sound loud initially, but if you listen to the lyrics, it gives a sense of urgency, to do things fast in a short time. Exactly the situation Shashi is faced with.

The Marathi-Hindi song Navrai Maajhi is a perfect example of using Dholki, Banjo, Harmonium and the Tumbi to give an Indian song a rustic effect.
One gets to see some parts of Pune as the story is based on a family from Pune (India) It would have enhanced the authenticity if Shashi had used a few words of Marathi here and there (though she did mention Laxmi road and Main Street)
If you found the film colourful, its thanks to the wonderful cinematography by Laxman Utekar, with his multiple cameras at the wedding scene and the boom camera at the terrace scene.

Ahhhh yes, Sridevi’s sarees –beautifully draped and carried with great  sense of style. Simple  but  wonderfully ethnic , showcasing the essence of  Indian textiles…Khadhi, Chanderi and then some more….. thanks to Sabyasachi. Though I get the feel that they must cost a bomb!





And finally coming to Sridevi, she has proven that emoting and acting can still be done after a long hiatus  of 15 years!  



No wonder this movie got a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival.




33 comments:

Marie said...

Saw this once and may go to see it again next week with friends:-)

Harman said...

I wud love to check this movie out ... gr8..
this weekend for sure .. your blog has heightened my anxiety,,:D

Christine H. said...

So, presumably we will get a chance to view this movie in the U.S. I will keep an eye out for it.

Shilpa Garg said...

That's the 4th review I have read for this movie!! Sounds superb! Will check it out this weekend, for sure!

anilkurup said...

Hmm that is a review that tempts to go to the movies. got to see it, though I lost the appetite for the Hindi masala with its eternal cliches.

rama said...

Everything said about the movie is true. It was so refreshing. no melodramatic scenes, no fights, nothing commercial about this movie.
We enjoyed the movie very much, saw it on the second of the release.
I really liked the French guy and also the Kadoos African, in fact all of them acted their bit very well.

Bikramjit said...

I will be seeing this one tonight for sure :) looking forward to it


Bikram's

Talli Roland said...

Wow, sounds like a great movie!

Asha said...

I too enjoyed the movie. brillantly crafted by Gauri shinde.

Lazy Pineapple said...

I loved the movie and have done a review on my blog :)

Aparna (Life Takes) said...

You are a keen observer and picked up intricate details in the movie.

This movie was very good.

A said...

I recognized one of the actors... I saw him in a bunch of movies in India :-D

Khushbu Verma said...

After this review of yours, I got to watch it.
Well thanks for this nice review.

deeps said...

i guess i will watch this one...
thanks for sharing with us

Anupama K. Mazumder said...

Very detailed and comprehensive review! Whr did you compile so many photos (perfect moments) and videos from?

www.anucreations.blogspot.in
www.facebook.com/VolatileSpirits

Indrani said...

Makes me want to see this.

Pinku said...

I am planning to take my mom to see this film...am sure she will enjoy it much.

thanks for the lovely post...u have now made a possibility a sure shot.

Phani said...

Shared on FB and an e-group

Renu said...

read many reviews but like yours the most..the titbits you have mentioned make it so apealing...

Beena said...

Looking forward to watch this movie, after reading your review, which again is written so beautifully!

Kusum Sanu said...

I would love to watch this movie. Good review.
BTW, thanks for visiting my blog.

Roshni AaMom said...

Thanks so much for visiting my blog! And, nice to connect with you after such a long time!

Tanya Sehgal said...

Pretty nice review. The way you penned the entire cast & their characters is lovely. Would definitely watching the movie soon. Thanks a lot for visiting my blog :)

PinkPanthress said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PinkPanthress said...

I'll be honest, I do not watch movies with music in it, have seen to many turkish ones due my mother when I was a kid. :D
But a few things I like already about this one...

“To spend some dollars and help your economy. If you don’t want it, I can go back”
This is typical Asian humour & it made me laugh out loud öate at night. :) A good one!!

Shashi rolls the laddoo with her bare hands while Meera does it with gloved hands
Even though I am half German, I dislike it immensely that Europeans & Americans think that gloves will make it all more cleanly.
If your hands are dirty in the first, then handling those gloves will make them dirty, too.
Just wash your hands & do it bare! :)

That said... I really enjoyed your review, it was a nice read!
Also thank you for visiting my blog & leaving that lovely comment!

Dolly said...

lovely review,after reading it i want to see the movie too.

theresa mathew

AmritaAmriiAmuAmruta ;-) said...

Best Review!!
Superb Movie, Even OMG is not bad which recently released but EV is perfectly made!, Hats off to Gauri Shinde and her whole team.

Sarika Patkotwar said...

I've heard so much about English Vinglish, but unfortunately, I haven't seen it yet. I really want to watch it now! Really great review and good to know you liked the movie. :)

Sarika @ The Readdicts

Teena Tom said...

Awesome review...
I loved the movie too

Rajesh Krishnamurthy said...

Hi Haddock, Thanks for visiting my blog www.matineefilms.blogspot.co.nz. I have had a quick "Dekho" at your blog. Congrats on a very engaging blog mate!It's good to see a kindered spirit who not only follows Bollywood but is also such a big fan of Tintin's best friend Captain Haddock!...way to go mate & keep in touch.

madhuchhanda ray choudhury said...

very well written :)

chotulight said...

pleasant...you should write more often....frankly, i have not seen the film...would definitely go now...

Mar Amirah Adzli said...

watched it yesterday at Zee TV Channel in Malaysia..this movie was so awesome.. love Laurent and Shashi so much... good moral shown in this movie plots.. miss Sri Devi acting...