There are a few films in Indian cinema that offer us a realistic view. They do not wish to harp on the utopian world created by many filmmakers. This lofty reality happens to be the anchor for most of the films. However, there are those who wish to stand out from the crowd. Their film speaks for the life and the real world out there. These films are high on conviction value and cash on every nuance of the everyday mundane life. One such film that instantly connects with the audience is English Vinglish.Touted to be Sridevi’s comeback film, it gives a message that Miss Hawa Hawaii was never out of touch with her muse-Cinema.
The film simplistically highlights Shashi and her life. The problems that are sincere and often faced by most of the women is the crux of the film. This is one reason why we rate this film as a classic gifted to the Indian cinema.
If we look at it we see that the character of Shashi was a generalized one. This film was more about women empowerment but Shashi’s classmates…weren’t they from the opposite gender? Plus the internal turmoil that Shashi goes through brings out the unfussiness of the character. And most of the mothers are unfussy. Therefore, Shashi can be anyone-you, me, your sister, your mother.
The problems that Shashi faces are real and simple. And the solution to these problems is the simplest. Logically look at it you’d say that Shashi could have taken up classes in India. But then we wouldn’t have been able to feel that inexplicable feeling, the chest-tightening-fumbling-for-words-tear-eyed feeling, when we see Shashi emerge glorious in an alien country.
English Vinglish is a film which speaks for the feelings. It is one film that speaks of Being Human. Remember the scene where Shashi fumbles with her purse while buying a coffee? And the Negro woman who shouts at her? Or the other scene when Shashi’s daughter calls her up and scolds Shashi for changing the arrangement of her study table? In all these scenes you have an urge to slap the person. You can’t stand the insult thrown at Shashi. This film teaches us to love and respect simultaneously.
Moreover, Shashi reinstates our belief in the fact that whatever we do isn’t insignificant trash. She makes laddos and making ladoos doesn’t make her lesser human. She might not be too professional about it, but she happens to be an “entrepreneur”. And a very intelligent entrepreneur at that.
She learns to love herself. She learns to live without having any knowledge of the alien language. She overcomes her fears. She follows her heart. She appreciates the things others do for her. She overlooks a person’s ethnicity and background and she embraces them for what they are.
Basically, Gauri Shinde’s Shashi Godbole is the most chilled out character ever. Shashi is one character with the most elegant heroic poise.