No, I have not seen the movie. No, I do not know the director, actors or writers. Truthfully, it only caught my eye because of Kay’s article last week.
Yes, I have seen the movie trailer and am therefore completely qualified to both do a review and recommend this move. It seems that these days, sound bites are enough to formulate opinions. Let’s see if I can get away with this
While a Bollywood production, this movie and Bollywood in general seem to be raising their A-game to world standards. Since “Slumdog Millionaire”, there is an openness to Indian movies and styles. Personally, I like a dash of Bollywood and even the sing-song desi style of music with “bobble head” singers.
OK , before I get myself into trouble, let’s move on to the story. An Indian woman (beautiful, of course) goes to the U.S. to help her sister’s family?. I don’t know why, but she decides to learn English. We quickly see both the funny aspects and the frustrations of non-English speakers in America. See this movie if for no other reason, to see that your experiences and frustrations as English learners are universal. Too many times I deal with students who feel so alone and frustrated. I cannot convince you that you are normal, I can only deliver “head” knowledge. This movie promises “heart” knowledge. A fellow human being going through the same as you. If you can let go and fall into the story, you may get something special. I think they call it catharsis, where you allow another to experience your pain in your stead.
I am sure that we will see plenty of gags. There will be the obligatory missives with idioms and slang. I hope that you too, can laugh at such in your life. The difference in this film, I hope, is that it will reveal the deeper hurts that attend to such mistakes. Few teachers can fully understand the heart issues with learning a new language. They can certainly minister to the broken language. But, to address the heart issues, we need story and a masterful storyteller.
I hope that “English Vinglish” can deliver what we as teachers cannot. I hope that they can capture your story as a learner and complete the language healing we as teachers only begin. The last movie I felt so strongly about was “The King’s Speech” which was about a man with a speech impediment and his speech coach. This move promises to be a much more direct salve for your heart.
Do you know someone struggling with language learning? Do you wish to reach out and hug them saying,”I know how you feel”? Why not let this movie do it for you. Simply share this article and invite them to meet you online after seeing the movie.
Here is the English Vinglish trailer with English subtitles.
Pictures via Kollywoodz