'Aangilam Vaangilam' is a beautiful film that brings to light the intricacies of relationships, marriage and friendships. It is an outstanding, yet a simple story. It is the brilliant directorial debut of ad film maker Gauri Shinde that brings several fresh faces to life on screen. But above all, 'Aangilam Vaangilam' is the magnificient comeback of actress Sridevi. And yes, she doesn’t disappoint!
The 49 year old, dancing queen of the 80s and 90s has done it all before! She has been a part of award winning films like 'Lamhe' and 'Chalbaaz' apart from her success sprint in South Indian films, and yet, in 'English Vinglish' she is new, filled with expression and plays an inspiring leading lady.
'Aangilam Vaangilam' is the simple story of Shashi (Sridevi) who cannot comprehend English. Wanting to change that one truth about herself Shashi enrolls into an English ‘tuition’ as she calls it, and realizes there is lot more to life, especially when she is in the vibrant city of New York.
When it comes to being a debut director, Gauri Shinde deserves a pat on the back for telling a complicated story effortlessly. Her fine treatment of the simple story and an eye for showing inter-twined relationships and strong emotions with ease, makes 'Aangilam Vaangilam' an unusual film.
The two child artists who play Shashi’s children have done a marvelous job. The daughter, dawns the role of the little villain in the film who is embarrassed of her mother’s incompetency of the English language. The son (Shivansh Kotia) on the other hand brings life and joy on screen, as well as into Shashi’s life.
The supporting star cast in the film comprising of Adil Hussain as the typical office-going husband, has done a marvelous job. The conversations about food - ladoos in particular, which he shares with his wife makes the film instantly connectable to the Indian audience.
Frenchman Mehdi Nebbou, who bursts into spurts of French from time to time, is wonderful as the man who makes our leading lady smile. He wants to awe Sridevi and in the process makes English Vinglish an extremely feel good film.
Priya Anand as Radha, Shashi’s niece is the support pillar who encourages Sridevi to carry on her English quest. Her performance brings to life a modern girl who is good at heart and believes her aunt is a lot more than a ladoo-maker.
The cherry on top in the film is watching Ajith play a cameo in the film. Ajith who brings his charisma onto the screen with a couple of comic yet intriguing one-liners is a feast for the eyes!
Apart from the characteristic classroom filled with a Pakistani cab driver, a Chinese hair stylist, a silent African and a South Indian software engineer who bring immense humour to the film, the film also shows a loud, gay American teacher – all who despite being strangers in Sridevi’s life respect and value her. A feeling she immensely craves from the people of her family.
Every actor in the film fits into the script like a perfect puzzle piece. Nobody, even for an instance seems out of place and that is a gold medal in Gauri Shinde's director guide!
In terms of music Amit Trivedi does wonder’s with 'Aangilam Vaangilam' – keeping it smooth and simple! We have seen him compose the music for diverse films like 'Dev D', 'Ishaqzaade', 'Wake Up Sid' and 'Udaan' – all unique in their own flavor. But with this film, the simplistic nature of the title track ‘It’s all about English Vinglish’ along with the cinematography by Laxman Utekar which beautifully captures the essence of New York to an outsider, makes this film visually appealing. From a small Indian household point of view, the makers have managed to capture it bang-on showing every little element that comprises the making and running of an Indian family.