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Luke Edwards
Luke Edwards

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English Vinglish is a 2012 Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama film written and directed by Gauri Shinde. The film stars Sridevi as Shashi Godbole, a small entrepreneur who makes snacks. Shashi enrolls in an English-speaking course to stop her husband and daughter mocking her lack of English skills[3] and gains self-respect in the process. Shashi was written by Shinde, inspired by her mother. The film marked Sridevi's return to filmmaking after a 15-year hiatus post Judaai (1997); it also features Adil Hussain, French actor Mehdi Nebbou, and Priya Anand.[3] Amitabh Bachchan makes a cameo appearance in Hindi, whose portions are reshot for the Tamil-dubbed version with Ajith Kumar replacing him.[4]




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English Vinglish also marked the Bollywood debut of South Indian actress Priya Anand, who previously worked in the Tamil and Telugu film industries. It is the directorial debut of Gauri Shinde, who previously worked as an advertisement filmmaker. It was shot mostly in New York.[13] The principal photography concluded in October 2011 and it was released in Hindi and Tamil. It was later dubbed into Telugu.[13]


The film had its US premiere at the 36th Portland International Film Festival.[39] Writer and critic David D. Levine praised the film, saying "[t]hough it's not a musical, strictly speaking, there's quite a bit of music and dance, and the film is laugh-out-loud funny and heart-rending by turns ... My favorite film of this PIFF. 5 stars out of 5."[40] In April 2013, English Vinglish was selected to play at the third Beijing International Film Festival and the International Film Festival of Panama.[41][42] In May the same year, it won the 'Best Visiting Artist' award at the San Diego Film Festival. Andrew Friedenberg, director of the Cinema Society of San Diego announced that English Vinglish "dominated the voting".[43][44]


The Indian premiere of English Vinglish was held on 4 October 2012 and was one of the biggest premieres of that year[7][45] It was organized as a red carpet event to celebrate Sridevi's return to filmmaking, and some famous Bollywood personalities attended,[46] including directors Yash Chopra, Ramesh Sippy, Rajkumar Hirani and Ashutosh Gowariker and actors Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Bipasha Basu, Tabu, Shilpa Shetty, Konkona Sen Sharma, Madhuri Dixit, Ayesha Takia, Kangana Ranaut and Javed Akhtar.[47][48]


English Vinglish received widespread critical acclaim upon release, with reviewers praising Shinde's screenplay and direction, Sridevi's performance as well as the film's soundtrack and cinematography. The Times of India gave it 4 out of 5, calling it "[e]asily one of the best films of 2012 ... [Sridevi's] performance is a masterclass for actors ... Request you to make a little place next to you, Rajkumar Hirani; Gauri Shinde has taken a bow in mainstream Bollywood."[87] Aniruddha Guha of Daily News and Analysis also gave 4 out of 5 and said it is "among the most refreshingly novel films made in recent times ... If you're a Sridevi fan, you can't miss it. If you aren't, you still can't miss it."[88]


English Vinglish garnered awards and nominations in a variety of categories, with particular praise for its direction and Sridevi's performance. At the 58th Filmfare Awards, English Vinglish received 4 nominations, including Best Film and Best Actress (Sridevi) and won Best Debut Director (Shinde). Sridevi received Best Actress nominations at several awards ceremonies, which apart from Filmfare include IIFA, Screen, Zee Cine, and Star Guild Awards. At the 11th Stardust Awards, the film earned 5 nominations, going on to win Best Drama Actress (Sridevi) and Best Debut Director (Shinde.


Since its worldwide success, English Vinglish consistently appeared on media outlets' Best Films of the Year lists. It was ranked first on the Times of India's list of "Top 10 Films of 2012", which compared Gauri Shinde's directorial debut with veterans Manoj Kumar, Gulzar and Aparna Sen.[140] It featured in "Best Bollywood Films of 2012" by Reuters,[137] "Bollywood's Most Appreciated Films of 2012" by IBN Live,[141] 'Top Bollywood Movies of 2012' by India Today,[142] "Best Films of 2012" list by Rediff[143] and Forbes' "Best of Bollywood 2012".[144] The film ranked third on MTV's "Top 5 Movies of 2012".[139] It ranked #2 on Raja Sen's "Ten Best Films of 2012"[145] and 4th on Rajeev Masand's list of "Top 5 Hits of 2012".[146] The café scene in the film ranked #2 on CNN-IBN's list of "Top 10 Bollywood's Best Scenes of 2012".[147] English Vinglish, particularly Sridevi's character in the film, was noted for inspiring Dalit girls in Bihar to master the English language.[148][149] Filmfare listed it as one of the fifteen strongest women characters in Bollywood.[150] Radhika Seth and Riya Dhankar of Vogue India listed it as one of the most empowering female characters in Bollywood.[151] Srishti Magan of ScoopWhoop listed it as one of the nineteen most relatable female characters from Bollywood.[152]


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