Critic reviews of

English Vinglish  (2012 - Hindi)

English Vinglish cumulative rating: 3.55 out of 53.55/5 (166 users)

English Vinglish critics rating: 3.45 out of 5 3.45/5 (25 critics)

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English Vinglish critic reviews & ratings


English Vinglish is that rare thing – a Hindi film that creates a heroine out of a homemaker. Shashi, played by Sridevi, is a beautiful, accomplished woman who efficiently manages her home, husband, mother-in-law and two children. She also runs a small business making ladoos. In a nicely done opening sequence, debutant director Gauri Shinde establishes that Shashi is the glue that binds this family together. As their morning rituals play outmore

The film leaves you with a big smile on your face

Five minutes into the film, and she's already found her way into your heart as Shashi, the uncomplaining Maharashtrian housewife who quietly puts up with the playful but insensitive jibes her husband and kids take at her, for her inability to speak proper English. It's such a terrific performance in fact, that it makes you overlook the rather trite notion that a caring wife and mother, who runs a small but successful catering business from homemore

An inspiring film with an overwhelming message

ENGLISH VINGLISH is special. Sridevi, who ruled the marquee in the 1980s and 1990s, belting out hit after hit, returns to the silver screen after a hiatus. The film won rave reviews at a recently concluded film festival, with the critics referring to the actress as Meryl Streep of India. That, in my opinion, is the ultimate honor for any actress. Let me set the prevalent doubts to rest. ENGLISH VINGLISH is not a rehash of the immensely popular TV showmore

Sri pens cool comeback

So, what do you do?’ Shashi Godbole is asked on the first day of her English class. Shashi lowers her head, blinks nervously, tugs at the edge of her sari and murmurs: ‘I make laddoos at home and sell them.’ She continues to hang her head, expecting peals of laughter to break out any moment. ‘Wow, that makes you an entrepreneur!’ the teacher smiles appreciatively. Shashi looks up in shock. She doesn’t understand the meaning of the wordmore

English Vinglish has the feel-good factor

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 adaptmore

English Vinglish speaks a universal language

English is a phunny language', Amitabh Bachchan told us in Namak Halal. English Vinglish starts with a title card that says, "100 years of Indian cinema. 70 years of Amitabh Bachchan." The film's producer, R Balki, has been a self-confessed Bachchan fan, who gave the veteran two of his most challenging roles in the post-Mohabbatein phase - a proud, arrogant, unmarried chef in Cheeni Kum, and a progeria patient in Paa. The attractive quality of bothmore

English Vinglish is a winner all the way

In India, our post-Colonial hangover includes a peculiar English-language elitism, where those even halfway in control of the language thumb their nose at those unable to speak it. Where folk routinely, and with unforgivable curtness, cut folk off mid-sentence to snappily correct pronunciation. Which is why a scene in Gauri Shinde's new film -- where a simple Maharashtrian woman is castigated by her family for calling jazz "jhaaz" (even as they proudly call itmore

Return of the Queen

Every film stands for an idea, a notion, a story, a thought; something the director wants to tell its audience. How faithfully the film sticks to this idea - in it's language, and through it's duration - is a measure of how good and how successful the film is. English Vinglish has a very simple premise. A housewife finds herself inferior to her more educated husband and kids, her self esteem in direct proportion to her knowledge of Englishmore

Sridevi sets the standard to what a comeback film should actually be like

There are actresses and there is Sridevi. There are comeback films and there is English Vinglish. First of all, it is difficult to believe that Sri has actually completed almost thirty years in Hindi films (Sadma 1983) and that the actress Rani Mukerji is paying tribute to in her wet blue saree and patent pout in her comeback film next week, has made a comeback after almost two decades! And in a totally different avatar!more

Sridevi's comeback with proverbial BANG!

Gauri Shinde has come up with a gem in her directorial debut. The story is very modern, yet archaic; sober, yet hard-hitting. And adding punch with lots of pizzaz to the entire duration of the film is Sridevi. She has come back with the proverbial BANG! Probably, this has to be one of the best knock-out return of an actress who once ruled the roost. Sedate, peaceful, purposeful yet not losing her mind, Sridevi tackles a subject, so close to home, with a rare maturitymore

Shashi Godbole is a good wife, and a good mother. She packs tiffin for her school-going kids, and hands her husband his briefcase every morning. She is also a woman who is not too conversant with English and speaks it haltingly. Which makes her not good enough for her corporate-type spouse, and brattish teenage daughter : they treat her with the sort of off-hand affection edged with disparagement that most Indian women find themselves getting used tomore

For those who can discount the film’s oversimplified worldview

The protagonist of English Vinglish stumbles upon a word she has never heard before – judgmental. She runs to her niece and asks: does it mean ‘mental’ judge? No, the girl tells her, it means jumping to damning conclusions about a person on the basis of flimsy evidence. That is precisely what Ms Shashi Godbole (Sridevi), Pune-based mother of two, is constantly subjected to by her corporate executive-husband, Satish (Adil Hussain), and her school-going daughtermore

Just about okay, shokey

Achtongue, baby. Or is it Achtung? Oho, here’s one of those rain-in-Spain-stays-mainly-in-the-plain dilemmas. Unlike the pronunciation-stressed Eliza Dolittle of My Fair Lady, the grammar-challenged motley group of the TV series Mind Your Language, and the harrowed hairdresser of Educating Rita, the distressed damsel is a bright-eyed, late 40ish woman who’s chronically low on self-esteem. And not as much on lingo. In fact, debutante Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglishmore

The Queen’s Speech

The queen returns to her throne to give the industry starved of quality actresses a crash course in acting with Gauri Shinde’s finely crafted slice of life drama English Vinglish. Echoing sentiments previously seen in Revathy’s Mitr My Friend, Shinde’s film too captures the unspoken angst of a neglected housewife and mother with refreshing restraint and super sensitivity, at least for most of its running time, letting Sridevi demonstratemore

It's a tough deal, making a comeback as a Bollywood mainstream heroine when you are close to 50. But then, Sridevi is no ordinary star. In her heydays of the eighties she ruled B-Town without much of a contest, often driving films to blockbuster status without bothering who the hero was. English Vinglish wholly draws its USP from Sridevi's return 15 years after Judaai, the last role you would care to remember her for. Debutant writer-filmmaker Gauri Shinde's filmmore

Sridevi is an absolute charmer in this slice of life of a film

The wait has been long but it has been worth its while. After a 15-year long hiatus, Sridevi makes a pleasant comeback at the movies with Gauri Shinde’s directorial debut English Vinglish. After receiving a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival, this charm grenade of a film promises to win hearts at home too. English Vinglish is a shining testament to Sridevi’s inimitable talent and her potential to successfully carry a film to its deserved destinationmore

‘Feminism Weminism’ Works

Low on self-esteem, a housewife takes up the challenge of learning English on the quiet and ends up feeling pretty good about herself. In her quest to please husband and kids (which includes a rather rude, school-going daughter), Shashi Godbole (Sridevi) unwittingly becomes the epitome of tolerance as she allows herself to become the butt of all-round jibes. Her one big talent is making and supplying laddoos to people whose nod of appreciationmore

Dekho vekho

Shashi Godbole is a good wife, and a good mother. She packs tiffin for her school-going kids, and hands her husband his briefcase every morning. She is also a woman who is not too conversant with English and speaks it haltingly. Which makes her not good enough for her corporate-type spouse, and brattish teenage daughter : they treat her with the sort of off-hand affection edged with disparagement that most Indian women find themselves getting used tomore

Watch this movie for a woman who steps out of her family’s shadow and learns to love herself

Towards the climax of English Vinglish you’re expecting Sridevi’s big English. Instead of crescendo music or an erudite theatrical of the Queen’s language, Sridevi pips up with a soft but firm, “May I?” There’s something so nuanced about this moment that you can’t help but applaud for those two words though they’re not the typical claptraps. Laddoos are how Shashi’s (Sridevi) husband knows her. Her daughter remembers her to hunt down missing scrapbooksmore

English-Vinglish is really about how we treat our mothers

“My wife, she was born to make laddoos!”says the grinning husband to the white boy who’s being inducted into the family. The white boy, whose name is Kevin, has just taken his first-ever bite of a moist, delicious little globe of motichur goodness produced by the aforementioned wife, Shashi, and he looks suitably overwhelmed with delight. Then the camera moves across to Shashi, and that single fluid moment, as we watch her face silently transformmore

Sridevi brings acting back in English Vinglish!

English Vinglish’s opening credits roll with congratulatory wishes – one for Indian cinema turning 100 years old and to Amitabh Bachchan on his 70th birthday, which falls on 11 October. The Bachchan wishes will explain themselves in the film, with his cameo extraordinaire. Shashi Godbole (Sridevi) lives the life of a devoted housewife in Pune to a husband (Adil Hussain) who has no time to converse with her and is an attentive and loving mothermore


A housewife, tucked away in a middle class Maharashtrian household in Pune, who dutifully gets up before her husband, readies a morning cuppa for her mother-in-law, fulfills every demand of her kids and also runs a part-time ladoo making business. Meet Shashi Godbole, who despite her best efforts, is an embarrassment to her family, but is a delight to watch, as Sridevi's effortless performance makes this one a winner from start to finishmore

You just can't miss this one

A film like 'English Vinglish' could have gone wrong at many counts. It could have just gone into this over sentimental space where one may have been exposed to all the hardships Sridevi was going through due to her discomfort with English. It could have just gone into Shobhana starrer 'Mitr-My Friend' space where a middle-aged woman would have found love outside marriage in a foreign land. It could just have just turned into a mere showreelmore

Sridevi is back as if she had never been gone

When buzz got around that Sridevi was making her Bollywood comeback after 15 years, I was a little wary. 'Return of the (once) divas' after marriage, childbirth or a brief hiatus, marked with lot of publicity and fanfare, hasn't historically set the cash registers ringing (remember, Madhuri's 'Aaja Nachle', Rani's 'Dil Bole Hadippa' and more recently, Karisma's 'Dangerous Ishq'). However, Sridevi has chosen a director who manages to competently exploit her craftmore

Mum’s the word

“English is a very funny language,” said Amitabh Bachchan many years ago, and many Indians agreed. In Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s comedy “Chupke Chupke”, a character makes fun of the English language, ridiculing its pronunciations and syntax; and when Kamal Hassan sang “come fast, come fast, don’t be slow”, no one blinked an eyelid at the bad grammar in the song. In the India of 2012, English is no longer a language to be made fun of – fluency in Englishmore