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TIFF Capsule Revew: ‘English Vinglish’

TIFF Capsule Revew: 'English Vinglish'

While the Toronto International Film Festival’s City-to-City strand has focussed on Mumbai’s new wave of subversive independent filmmakers, the Gala section of TIFF has opted for standard Bollywood fare with this light-hearted comedy.  Most of the action takes place in New York and features a band of English language students hailing from Africa, India, Mexico, France and China. Bollywood fans will be delighted with the news that the very watchable Indian actress Sridevi has come out of retirement to play a mother-of-two growing increasingly frustrated with life as a housewife in Pune, India. The Manhattan wedding of a niece gives her a chance to broaden her horizons and when she enlists in an English class, first-time writer-director Gauri Shinde playfully subvert norms by having French class mate Laurent (Mehdi Nebbou) fall head-over-heels for her. But any hint of transgression is undone by a safety first attitude that will win hearts while deadening minds. Criticwire grade: C+ [Kaleem Aftab]

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