Sunday, December 30, 2012


I saw English Vinglish with so much expectations , but was disappointed, I think everybody knows the story, so I shall tell you what I noticed..

I never endorse the view that those who know English are better off and more intelligent, because English is only a language, they know one more language, nowhere it becomes equal to poise, confidence, styling , affection,intelligence, everything as if its a Alaadin ka chirag. Sreedevi is shown as clumsy,unappealing housewife who is brusque with her husband, never affectionate..and according to her nobody respects her..( I dont give much importance to her teenage daughter, because many children feel that way but if tackled properly they change, I feel that its her upbringing too which is at fault).

and then she learns English and suddenly she becomes a diva. smart(starts wearing trench coats instead of shawl), gets oodles of confidence, and people start respecting her..gets accolades from everyone( her husband always appreciates her cooking but that is not important to her)..

I have seen many women who dont know English but are respected by everyone in their family and outside.Respect is not for English language, its for the person..

Even her encounter with visa people and all are ridiculous, because translators are always provided to those who dont know English.
I never like the woman who encourage extra marital affections for trivial reasons, one has to be strong in the character everywhere...
Dont know why people liked sridevi in this role, I found her looking haggard and her mannerisms awkward..would have preferred some other actress may be Tabu. or Divya balan

Desirable Daughters..Bharati Mukherjee
Most of the Bengali writers write about NRI Bengali's and their life, this is also about them and their own community.sort of Ok only

Equal Music...Vikram Seth
I liked his Suitable boy,and ten two lives too, so thought of reading it, but it couldnt interest me at all, so much so that i couldnt read it even.

I got two books from Robert Ludlum..
1..Traveyane...its not like Ludlum at action, no supense, just talking..

2...Janson Directive...again it looks like a very old story written in a very small font and dint find it interesting.

and now..

नया साल मंगलमय हो, सब के जीवन में समृद्धि, खुशहाली लाये 

हमारी  शुभकामनाएँ 


GVK said...

It is the mindset, I guess, A colonial hangover we haven't able to get rid of. I wonder if people in former French colonies - Pondicherry - feel socially inadequate if they can't converse in French.

Sandhya said...

I too saw English Vinglish. Sridevi looks tired and very artificial. Reminded me of a better movie with nearly the same theme, 'Mitr, my friend', where Shobhana acted well.

Happy New Year, Renu!

Jeevan said...

Yes, Sridevi doesn’t look graceful now! Thanks for the New Year wishes.
All the best for the future ahead :)

Bikramjit said...

I still have not watched this one

got to see it

Happy new year to you and family and everyone around you :)

rudraprayaga said...

English is only a language.It depends upon how and. what you think and communicate.

Amrita said...

Happy new year Renu!! May you read lots more books and post reviews!!

SG said...

Very well written. I never subscribe to the idea that if you know English you are intellegent and smart.

Chatty Wren said...

Aapko bhi navvarsha ki hardik shubkamnayen, Renuji! I too did not find English Vinglish so great. I don't think it was learning English per se that brought about the change. It was learning a new skill and the sense of confidence and pride that comes from it which contributed to her self-esteem. So the change has come from within her, which is positive, and makes her feel more in control. And the appreciation from the French guy, she doesn't fall for it, just that someone sees her as an attractive women. I agree, only a strong person wouldn't be affected by it.

Found In Folsom said...

I agree and disagree to some of the things you mentioned about the movie. People's respect does not depend on the English language. But I felt the director wanted to show it to kids that you need to respect your parents despite that and how she took it as a challenge and learned it. Also, in NY city, if people go with shawls in winter, they are going to freeze to death. :)..that's why the trench coats..also, I would have preferred Tabu to sridevi in that movie. I like Sridevi any day, but she was looking all plastic plastic..not natural..

Renu said...

GVK: exactly and I dont understand why people encourage it..

Sandhya: yes are so right, even I loved that movie, it was natural..

Jeevan: Thank you Jeevan !

Bikram: You havent missed anything..

Rudraprayga..Me thinks so too:)

Amrita: Than you wish for me:)

Chatty Wren: yes it was that way, but change was too drastic to accept naturally..
For the french guy..yes she falls a little, as she is shown not happy with her husband.

Found In Folsom: I know but the perspective didnt come out well, there were so many loose ends..
As Sandhya has mentioned..Mitr was a much better movie on the same subject..handled with sensitivity required..
Trenchcoat came out just after,was their sudden winter?..:):):)

Rahul Bhatia said...

Am yet to see but in two minds after your review, Renu!! Wish you and your family a great New Year

rama said...

I really loved the movie for its simplicity, and the message it was trying to convey.And I feel Sridevi did quite a good job, and she looked normal, the way a person of her age should look.
And I want to mention here, that the trench coat was bought by her in India when she goes shopping with her family, she did not suddenly wear it, after learning English.
Everybody acted very well in this movie. And the attraction that the French guy had for her was quite natural, considering the country he comes from, but she never showed any interest in him, all she wanted was respect from her family. She felt in her own way that learning English would help her get that confidence she felt she lacked, there is nothing wrong in wanting to learn a language which has been a part and parcel of our country whether we like to admit it or not. We like to learn so many languages, and we always like to look up to the person who speaks some languages well, like even Hindi/ Sanskrit, French Spanish etc.
And it was not the upbringing, that made that girl talk rudely to her mother, the child was just frustrated, as all normal school going kids are at that age. I am sure we too were rude to our parents at that age, and our parents too must have been hurt, just like Shashi in this movie was. It was a natural depiction of things that happen in normal people's lives.
And believe me many people in the US, like that cafe lady can really be rude, they really don't care, for they are too stressed and busy to give a dime to what you might be feeling. Many times it has happened to people who understand and speak English too, because they are not quick enough to follow their peculiar accent.
Btw, I have heard one other person say they didn't like the movie. However I really enjoyed, and even saw it again when it was shown in TV last Saturday.

Renu said...

Rama:Looks like we have totally contrasting views:).Nice to know the other side of coin, but I still feel the same..too many cliches there..

Zephyr said...

That movie review was just after my heart. while the whole blog world is going ga-ga over Sridevi, I am not a great fan of hers. I preferred her pre-nose job looks and acting too. The movies in Tamil and Telugu where she is fresh and real. The theme is ghisa-pita. And it amuses me no end to see the women applauding it -- when I find it very regressive. Why try to earn the respect by doing what the others want you to do? Isn't that giving up your individuality? And why perpetuate the myth that being hoity-toity makes you worthy of respect? I might be lynched for these views though :))

chitra said...

Wish you a happy and Prosperous New year Renu

chitra said...

I also heard from my friends that the movie disappointed them. may be too much was expected.

Bikramjit said...

I saw english vinglish :) yesterday

Amrit said...


Most Indian movies are not good. So if a movie is slightly good, people start appreciating a lot.

About English Vinglish: Full of overused clicchse. Plot does not develop so as charaters. Besides Radha's characters, rest of them are pretty undeveloped.

Sridevi appears to have gone through plastic surgery of some kind. I never liked her and still don't like her.

The whole scene in an American cafe where a black lady is annoyed with Sridevi is STUPID. In all cafes, waiters are very polite. Also in NY, everywhere you find an Indian - literally an Indian. You don't have to know English to live in NY.

Logic aside, movie is not well made from script and story perspective. Very simple view - almost made for kids.

Sorry if some of the readers don't like my comments.

Renu said...

Rahul Bhatia; You wouldnt miss anything if you dont see:)

Zephyr: :):)..I am so glad somebody thinks like me..Blog is one place where I want to write what i feel...
Exactly..why people think that a smartly dressed person deserves more respect than the one who is not..and many more such cliches..

Chitra:it was hyped so much and then had nothing of substance..

Amrit: I am seeing you after a long time..
English Vinglish is just a stereoped version with bad actors..
I didnt like it at all and sridevi is looking horrible..

Anonymous said...

Wish you a very happy new year Renu :) Hope you had a good one. No, English does not give you credibility but it helps... I think they tried to show that accepting a challenge and not letting it bog down is the true spirit. As for falling for the other guy.. it was an inclination that happened in her case because of the care she suddenly got.

But all in all a different review from what the whole blogosphere is abuzz with and that is what I liked :)

Renu said...

gpoingbeyondthepages; Thank you for the wishes!

Have you seen was an excellent movie on the same topic..

Rahul Aggarwal said...

oh, i loved it .. especially the last scene when sridevi makes that impressive speech and the way she expresses her emotions ..

Renu said...

Rahul Aggarwal: :)

Reflections said...

I liked the movie very much. That cafe scene is very much real...maybe not the anger which tht lady showed but the condescension & tht patronizing tone they take...I have seen it. But again most of them are nice and help us out if the cafe is not too crowded.

Maybe her husband appreciates her cooking but he sort of takes her for granted & in his compliments there is a bite. Maybe it is her lack of confidence which makes her feel like tht.

As for the french guy's attraction towards her...dont blame her for what he feels for her. Once in a while it feels good to be appreciated by a man other than husband...maybe it shouldnt have been taken to tht extent[terrace scene] but its a movie, so they had to show a little extra;-P.

I dont really like Sridevi all that much[her weak voice is her greatest flaw] but I thought she did a decent job here:-).

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