Gauri Shinde, 10 Years After English Vinglish, Says Sridevi’s Item Number Was Desired by Filmmakers

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Today marks the completion of ten years since the release of the film English Vinglish, starring the late actor Sridevi. The film’s director, Gauri Shinde, discusses for the first time the challenges they encountered while making the film.

The first film that Gauri Shinde ever directed, English Vinglish, was an enormous hit when it was first made available to the public. Not just in terms of financial success or critical acclaim, but also in terms of the cultural influence it had, which could be seen in the fact that schools were sending kids to theatres to watch the film, women found encouragement to start their enterprises, and many other things, and so on.

Gauri Shinde, 10 Years After English Vinglish, Says Sridevi's Item Number Was Desired by Filmmakers
Source: aljazeera.com

The performance that Sridevi gave in the film English Vinglish is widely considered to be among the greatest of her career. The film was directed by Gauri Shinde, and it focused on the character of Sridevi’s Shashi Godbole, who, although being a successful small business owner, is forced to manage the challenges of being a non-English speaker within a family that is fluent in the language.

 However, Shashi decides to enroll in an English-speaking course so that she may stop her husband and daughter from making fun of her poor command of the English language and, in the process, improve her sense of self-respect. Gauri says that the trip was a difficult one because the producers wanted an item number by Sridevi as well as a male celebrity. This information comes as the critically and financially successful film completes its first decade of existence.

They requested that Sridevi perform an item song for them in the movie English Vinglish.

Even if the director doesn’t recall much of any of this after 10 years have passed, the process of producing the movie is still quite clear in her memory.

Particularly how the producers they first presented the picture to were averse to making the film in the way that it was subsequently done. “There is no question that the choice I took to cast a woman in the lead role of my movie was the single most challenging aspect of making this movie. The story centers on a middle-aged woman who was dressed in a saree. The chances were such that nobody would want to take the risk. There was no physical aggression, no sexual activity, and nothing else that would make it simple for someone to get things started. “We went through hell,” reveals the individual who is 48 years old.

About English Vinglish Film

The film’s story revolved around a housewife, played by the late Sridevi, who can’t speak proper English and is constantly ridiculed by her husband and kids. Her journey of coming into her own forms the story. Shinde confesses that producers wanted many changes to this.

Gauri Shinde, 10 Years After English Vinglish, Says Sridevi's Item Number Was Desired by Filmmakers
Actor Adil Hussain played Sridevi’s husband in the film.

The film’s story revolved around a housewife, played by the late Sridevi, who can’t speak proper English and is constantly ridiculed by her husband and kids. Her journey of coming into her own forms the story. Shinde confesses that producers wanted many changes to this.

The plot of the movie centered on a housewife, played by Sridevi before she passed away, who was unable to speak English correctly and was often made fun of by both her husband and her children. The narrative follows her as she matures and comes into her own identity. Shinde admits that the producers wanted a lot of adjustments to be made to this.

In addition to this, Gauri gave the following additional information: “They wanted a superstar to play her spouse, then they told us we shouldn’t film in New York.” They asked me to make a concession, and then they demanded that Sridevi performs for them because she is Sridevi. They thought that she need to perform an item song. I expressed that I would prefer to shelve the movie and not create it at all. Then Balki (R Balki, a filmmaker, and spouse) decided to create it ourselves, and that led to the establishment of our production firm.

Gauri Shinde, 10 Years After English Vinglish, Says Sridevi's Item Number Was Desired by Filmmakers
Source: mid-day.com

It’s interesting to note that Shinde modeled Sridevi’s persona after her mother when she wrote the script for the role. After taking a break from acting for the next 15 years following her role in the film Judaai, Sridevi made her directorial debut with this movie (1997). Adil Hussain, the French actor Mehdi Nebbou, and Priya Anand were the actors who appeared in it.

Amitabh Bachchan made a brief appearance in the Hindi version, however, the corresponding scenes in the Tamil adaptation had to be reshot with Ajith Kumar playing the role. The film English Vinglish was a huge commercial success as well, earning 102 crores of rupees (about 102 million dollars) against a budget of ten crores of rupees (about ten million dollars).


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