94. English Vinglish (2012) — I’ve only ever watched Sridevi on celluloid in Chandi, a movie I remember as mostly boring (maybe I was still too new to the Bollywood idiom), but was happily exposed to her brilliance here, even without her going full-on dancing queen (Thank you RV and Sayesha for alerting me to her remarkable ability! Crikey!).
I guess the only hint of dishonesty about her whole performance is … how could her husband and daughter not have doted on her completely from the very beginning?! Ah, but even this reveals the key change in our heroine.
Beyond the naturalistic and exuberant depiction of a woman’s journey out of her fixed place in the household to finding her own place in the world, our heroine doesn’t actually change who she is (strong, resourceful, quick, loyal and compassionate), but blossoms as she is affirmed by friends of other cultures who see her qualities as strengths not embarrassments, who as fellow beginners are aware of how much they do not know as well. Would that all of us meet such companions on our journeys, to help us see ourselves with new eyes.
Many thanks to RV, VV and Sayesha for enjoying this engaging picture with me. :)