It's a feel-good fare

It's a feel-good fare

Sridevi is born to make laddoos. Or that’s what her husband (Adil Hussain, the male “moderate” chauvinist) thinks. The family swells with pride when the whole world wah-wahs her yellow buttery treats.

What is not so palatable is her English and all that “jhaazz”. The teen daughter refuses to take the linguistically challenged parent to the PTA, but Sridevi accepts it all as gracefully as she carries off her cottons.

Fifteen years have taken some sheen out of those big eyes, still Sridevi — in her comeback — is beautiful enough to dislodge the jaws of a Frenchman she meets in a language class. Welcome back. And a toast to the return of the feminine charm!

Director Gauri Shinde’s housewife-heroine is from the bharatiya nari mould. She lies low most of the time, and doesn’t mind being a doormat all the time. There is an occasional spring in her step though — when the little son wants to do a Michael Jackson with mom. The daughter remains impossible, with frequent taunts at her mother’s tongue.

A trip to New York for a wedding, and Sridevi grabs a chance to “learn English in four weeks.” English Vinglish is no great cinema. It is just a simple tale of a taken-for-granted woman digging out some self-esteem from under a pile of thankless domestic chores.
So, even placing an order correctly at a cafe calls for celebration.

It is simple joys like this and Sridevi that make the movie work. As she goes about achieving what makes her “feel good about myself”, the viewer roots for the do-it lady.

The classroom also elicits some grammar-and-glossary laughs, with its diverse students — a Pakistani cabbie who has eyes for fellow Chinese student, a Spanish nanny who snores through the lessons, an idli-deprived Tamil techie, and a French chef (Mehdi Nebbou) who cares more for Sridevi than his food.A feel-good fare.

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