It’s been ten years since the release of English Vinglish – in some ways things have changed, in other ways a lot is still the same. For instance, during its release, the film was among the very few women-centric films to have existed, that too for commercial cinema. Now, we’ve got more such content, which is a ripple effect from films like English Vinglish.

English Vinglish
Source: Film Companion

However, making an impact takes a lot of effort, and that’s exactly what Gauri Shinde talked about, in an interview on the tenth anniversary of the film. The director mentioned how there were very few people who believed in the film. At the time, not many people could see an “appeal” in a middle-aged female protagonist, who wore sarees. According to her, this didn’t sit well with investors or the box-office believers, so as to say.

Source: India Today

Producers even wanted to make changes to the film, one of which was to add an item song for Sridevi. As a result, Gauri Shinde and R. Balki decided to produce the film themselves, because she didn’t want to compromise with her vision. It’s ironic how a film that focused on treating women with the same respect as men, ended up struggling to get a producer because it lacked a dance number.

“There were a lot of conditions, in case they were interested. I wanted to make the film the way I visualised it or would rather keep it aside.”

Gauri Shinde to Indian Express
Gauri Shinde
Source: Stars Unfolded

Ten years later, we’re still struggling in a lot of areas, but Gauri Shinde’s film was the start of something different, which people couldn’t imagine then. It’s important that such films are made because through English Vinglish we got Shashi, who represents a lot of women in the country, a lot more than we can think of.