Back in 2012, when Sridevi returned to films after a 15-year-long hiatus with English Vinglish, she had the nation in a tizzy. It revolved around a housewife and caterer Shashi, who was usually mocked by her family for not knowing English. The film portrayed her attempts to learn the language, which helped her rediscover herself and reassert her value as a mother and as a wife.
The praise had been copious America’s entertainment weekly, Variety had wrote that it found her “disarmingly charming in a manner that recalls Audrey Hepburn,” while others dubbed her the “Meryl Streep of India”. Back home the compliments were as effusive – “Her performance is a masterclass for actors,” said one critic, “She makes the contemporary actresses, even the coolest ones, look like jokes,” gushed another. English Vinglish was that rare critically acclaimed and commercially successful film which Hindi cinema can always be proud of.
Unfortunately for Sri, her films which followed this little gem, left much to be desired. Her Tamil historical fantasy Puli released to negative reviews, while Mom, which saw her as a vigilante out to avenge her daughter, did not reach the highs that English Vinglish had.
Apparently, Gauri and Sridevi had had plans to work together on a woman-centric light-hearted comedy. However, that story was yet to be full developed, and the duo decided to turn their attention to the sequel of their highly successful, much loved English Vinglish. Buzz has it that filming will tee off early next year.
This October when English Vinglish completed five years of its release, Sri had tweeted a cute picture of hers with director Gauri, with the caption, “Five cheers to 'English Vinglish' Gauri Shinde.” That too was probably a sign of what was in store, and we can’t wait to welcome Shashi back!